Depakote and Topamax are medications marketed as anticonvulsants.
Depakote (valproic acid, divalproex sodium), which is manufactured and distributed by Abbott Laboratories, was originally manufactured for the purpose of helping treat the episodes in those who suffer from manic depressive disorder, epilepsy, migraine headaches and certain symptoms associated with neuropathy, including chronic pain.
Depakote has been linked to serious birth defects including spina bifida, cleft palate, neural tube defects, facial dysmorphism, skull malformation, congenital heart defects, mental disability, limb reductions and other skeletal injuries in the children who were born to mothers who were taking Depakote while pregnant. While Depakote has carried a birth defect warning for several years, due to the recent rise in the number of birth defects associated with its use, labeling changes are once again being considered.
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Topamax (topiramate) is a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsant. It is indicated for use in adults and children with epilepsy. It is also indicated for use in preventing migraine headaches. Topamax may be used alone or in the case of patients with epilepsy, it is occasionally used in combination with other anticonvulsants.
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On March 4, 2011, the warning label for Topamax was revised to warn prescribers and patients of the increased risk of cleft lip and/or cleft palate in infants born to women treating with Topamax during pregnancy. Due to the increased health risk to these infants, the FDA has advised pregnant women and women of child bearing age to discuss other treatment options aside from Topamax with their physicians.
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These medications should NOT be discontinued without talking to your physician FIRST. Women planning to become pregnant should discuss their options with their prescriber immediately to determine what alternatives may be available to them. If you are pregnant and using Topamax or Depakote, DO NOT discontinue these medications without discussing the issue with your physician.
If you or someone you love has taken Depakote or Topamax, which resulted in a birth injury or defect of any nature, we encourage you to contact our firm right away. Please contact us for your free, confidential case evaluation by completing the form below or by calling 800-285-HURT.