Recent clinical information on the weight loss drug Qnexa, which is made with topiramate, has shown that it will join the epilepsy drug Topamax for being linked to birth defects. Drug maker Vivus Inc. reported these findings on Wednesday, December 20. The findings show that one of the ingredients in Qnexa (can you guess which one?) has been linked to an increased risk of babies being born with birth defects to mothers who take the drug while pregnant.

These findings will come as no surprise to people who are aware of topiramate’s links to birth defects. Topiramate, which is the main ingredient in Qnexa, is also used as a stand-alone epilepsy drug. One of the drug’s side effects is birth defects — another is weight loss. When Qnexa added topiramate to its composition, it was inevitable that it would take on its risks as well.

Vivus reported that women who took topiramate during the first trimester of pregnancy were two times as likely to have a baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate as women who did not take the drug while pregnant. The information in this study was based on an analysis by researchers of more than 15,000 previous medical claims against topiramate and not from an actual clinical trial of Qnexa.

Qnexa is made up of a combination of topiramate with phentermine, an amphetamine. For its part, Vivus says that “topiramate makes patients feel more satiated and phentermine helps suppress appetite.” However, it should be noted that the FDA would not approve Qnexa back in October 2010 over worries that the drug may cause birth defects. With all of the complaints and lawsuits being filed against Johnson & Johnson over Topamax, this decision does not surprise.

If your baby was born with birth defects after being exposed to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and might be able to help you get the money that you are entitled to.