Topamax -- And The Generic Version Topiramate -- May Cause Birth Defects.
Topamax -- and the generic version topiramate -- may cause birth defects.
Topamax -- and the generic version topiramate -- may cause birth defects. Topamax is an anti-seizure drug that is also used for migraines. The FDA reviewed recent data and determined that Topamax potentially increases the risk of birth defects, specifically cleft lip and cleft palate.
The drug is sold under the brand name Topamax by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), but is available in generic versions. The agency said a review of pregnancy databases showed a higher risk for cleft lip and cleft palate. The problem occurs when parts of the lip or palate don't completely fuse early in the first trimester, when women may not know they are pregnant. (Source: Wall Street Journal)Currently, Topamax is a Category C drug, but it will be changed to a Category D -- "There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk." The only category that is higher is "X." If you are considering pregnancy and using Topamax, talk to your doctor so that you can fully explore alternatives and understand the risks in the event you and your doctor determine it is necessary for you to continue taking it.