The FDA has just issued a warning that a mother’s use of the anti-epilepsy drug Topamax (generic name topiramate) in the first trimester of pregnancy can triple the risk of her unborn child developing certain birth defects. These defects include cleft palate, a condition where the child’s upper lip does not properly develop leaving a gap between the lip and the nose.
A woman of child-bearing age should carefully weigh the risks/benefits of using Topamax and discuss these with her doctor. If you are using Topamax currently, you should not stop using it without consultation with your physician as abrupt discontinuation can cause serious health risks. If you are taking this drug and have had a child who was born with cleft palate, you should consider talking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.