The United States Food and Drug Administration announced this month that pregnant women who are taking the prescription medication Topamax are at risk of developing birth defects in their unborn children, specifically cleft lips and palates. Topamax, developed and manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, is used to treat seizures and severe migraines; however, the company has already paid a $6.1 million fine for illegally marketing the drug as a treatment for psychiatric conditions. The children of pregnant women taking other similar seizure medications are only three times as likely to develop cleft lips or palates.
By 2006, Johnson & Johnson was grossing more than $2 billion annually from Topamax sales, but the company had already received a warning from the FDA in 2004. The original warning accused Johnson & Johnson of underwhelming the side effects of the drug, including hyperthermia and metabolic acidosis, among others. In 2006, the FDA again warned Johnson & Johnson that Topamax was also capable of causing complete vision loss, due to a serious effect on the patient’s eyes.
Due to the misleading marketing, Topamax has often been thought of as a super drug, with the ability to treat a variety of ailments. It is widely prescribed and used in the American Armed Forces as a painkiller, and it was even been experimented with in various drug cocktails, including a recently rejected diet drug formula. The FDA rejected the diet pill Qnexa because of the inclusion of Topamax among its ingredients.
If you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects, birth defects or health complications with Topamax, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription medication. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.