Topiramate, sold and commonly known as Topamax is an anticonvulsant drug. Alone or with other medications, this drug is used to treat certain epileptic seizures and is permitted to cure migraine headaches.
It is assumed to have some off label usage also, for example, it cures obesity, alcoholism, infantile spasm, bipolar disorder, depression, autism and PTSD, as well as some other forms of headache. If the seizures involve large portion of the brain it is of generalized type and if it affects small portion of the brain then it is partial.
Among patients (both children and adults), Topamax is used in combination with other drugs. People of age 10 years and above can use Topamax sprinkle capsules without combining with any other drugs. Children as small as of two years age too can take Topamax if they are suffering from a severe form of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Actually in all the cases of childhood epilepsy, nearly 10% suffer from this syndrome.
But Topamax has some severe side effects which demand some keen thought before going for this drug. The anti-seizure and migraine medicine taken by women during pregnancy causes cleft palate and cleft lip birth defects. Also, you can suffer from difficulty in breathing, swelling of lips, tongue, whole throat or face. If you take Topamax and feel agitated, disturbed, distressed, depressed and have dramatic mood swings, then calling your doctor is better. Suicidal thoughts can also come to mind. Topamax, made by a division of Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, was allowed to treat seizures and migraines too in 2004. But it has also been continuously associated with certain side effects such as eye ailments, birth defects and male genital defects.
This drug can help an expectant mother but there is also evidence that the drug can harm your fetus. In fact the harm is more than good.
Since such cases have come to fore, therefore cases are registered by such patients. A Philadelphia-based law firm, Kline & Specter, P.C. has achieved success in dealing with such cases. It deals with pharmaceutical cases and birth defect cases across the country. To investigate and take legal action in cases related to the damage done by Topamax and topiramate, this law firm has appointed 30 attorneys, many of whom are doctors also.
Several large verdicts and settlements are won by Kline & Specter. Some mothers took the drug Bendectin from the market before its banning which affected their pregnancy. So, children are born with cleft palates, limb deformities etc and mothers took the case to court. Tom Kline, founding partner of the law firm is expert in dealing with such cases.
In March 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people against using Topamax. This is because the data indicated that the children, whose mothers take Topamax, are born with mouth defects. Craniofacial deformities are also linked to Topamax. And mouth defects are 20 times more common in babies whose mothers used to take this drug during pregnancy.