The manufacturers of an anti-seizure drug that contains Topamirate (Topamax) co-sponsored a study that was meant to show that Topamax was less dangerous to take than Depakote when being used as a treatment for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. The problem with the goal of this study is that both of the drugs are equally dangerous for babies in-utero.
Later this year, the results of this study will be published in The Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. During this randomized study, researchers analyzed data collected from 16 patients who were taking Topamax and 17 patients who were taking Valproate (Depakote). All of the patients had either “newly-diagnosed JME or previously-diagnosed JME with a history of a poor response or adverse effects to other antiepileptic drugs,” according to an abstract made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
What the researchers found was that there was a difference in the “percentage of patients who were free of myoclonic seizures for 24 weeks in the two groups … did not reach statistical significance.” One-tenth of Topamax side effects were viewed as “moderate to severe” when compared to the more than half of the Valproate side effects that were considered severe. In the end, the researchers concluded that “Valproate may be replaced with Topiramate, especially for the patients with JME who [cannot] tolerate Valproate.” What this means is that both drugs are equally dangerous to babies born to mothers who take the drugs.
Topamax and Depakote have been linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts, as well as birth defects in women whose babies are exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax use during pregnancy include cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects and other birth malformations.
If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.