Topamax (topiramate) Birth Defects

Were you a pregnant woman taking the anticonvulsant medication Topamax (topiramate) and your baby had birth defects such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate?
Contact The Barrera Law Firm today at (956) 428-2822 and read on for more information.

Topamax (topiramate) is an anticonvulsant medication used alone or with other medications to treat patients with epilepsy who have certain types of seizures.

On March 4, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning, informing the public of new data that show that there is an increased risk for the development of cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts) in infants born to women treated with topiramate (Topamax and generic products) during pregnancy.

  • If you take Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy, there is a higher risk that your baby will develop a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Oral clefts happen early in pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant. For this reason, women of childbearing age should talk to their healthcare professionals about other treatment options.
  • Women of childbearing age who do decide to take Topamax (topiramate) and are not planning a pregnancy should use effective birth control (contraception) while taking Topamax (topiramate). Women should talk to their healthcare professionals about the best kind of birth control to use while taking Topamax (topiramate).
  • Before you start topiramate, you should tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Healthcare professionals may discuss other treatment options with you.
  • You should tell your healthcare professional right away if you become pregnant while taking Topamax (topiramate). You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will continue to take Topamax (topiramate) while you are pregnant.
  • Topamax (topiramate) should not be stopped without talking to a healthcare professional, even in pregnant women. Stopping Topamax (topiramate) suddenly can cause serious problems. Not treating epilepsy during pregnancy can be harmful to women and their developing babies.
  • If you become pregnant while taking Topamax (topiramate), you should talk to your healthcare professional about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can enroll in this registry by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect additional information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. Information about the North American Drug Pregnancy Registry can be found at
  • You should report any side effects you experience to the FDA MedWatch program.
  • You should read the Medication Guide when picking up a prescription for Topamax (topiramate). It will help you understand the potential risks and benefits of this medication.

Effexor Recall Underway Due to Wrong Drug in Bottle

PillsI have already written about the anti-depressant drug Effexor and its dangerous and deadly potential effects on pregnant women and their unborn children.

A further hazard with the drug just surfaced this last week when Effexor’s manufacturer Phizer issued a recall on March 6th. The recall came about because a pharmacist discovered that a bottle of Pfizer’s Effexor XR contained one capsule of Tikosyn® (dofetilide) in addition to the regular Effexor XR capsules. Tikosyn has serious adverse health consequences that could be fatal per the FDA.The most prominent and deadly side effect of Tikosyn is that it starts an abnormal heartbeat that can be fatal. Signs of an abnormal heartbeat include dizziness, fainting and a racing heart rate.

The FDA has issued a news release on the recall.

Effexor already has a long list of potentially deadly health problems associated with its use during pregnancy.

  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm birth
  • Stillbirth
  • Cleft Palate
  • Anencephaly
  • Omphalocele
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension of the neonate
  • Transposition of the great arteries and other heart defects
  • Feeding and swallowing problems
  • Aspiration and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Sedation
  • “SIDS”

If you or a loved one has been affected by taking Effexor, contact The Barrera Law Firm, PC at 956 428 2822 to find out if your case can be pursued against Pfizer, maker of Effexor.

Chemical Psychiatry and Adderall ADHD Drug Linked to Death and Injuries

Chemical psychiatry is a controversial idea in the medical community that any non ideal condition of the mind, whether temporary or long lasting, can be solved through prescribing a highly profitable and potentially dangerous pill.

The Barrera Law Firm intends to expose the fraud, abuse, and blood soaked profits involved in the widespread drug pushing of the controversial drug Adderall. In February 2006 an FDA Advisory Committee stated that ADHD drugs are being prescribed to too many children because the ADHD diagnosis is so controversial. Nearly 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with ADHD, many of whom are prescribed Adderall.

Adderall has been linked to sudden death and serious heart related problems. Side effects can include:Pills

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Dyskinesia
  • Exacerbation of Tourette’s syndrome
  • Worsening of tics
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Arrhythmia

Adderall’s label currently warns, “Misuse of amphetamine may cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular adverse events.” Normal side effects of the drug include loss of appetite, difficulty falling asleep, stomachache, headache, weight loss, and dry mouth.

The FDA recently released findings demonstrating a possible link between Adderall and the deaths of 51 individuals taking the medication.

The Barrera Law Firm 956 428 2822 will provide a free consultation to persons or the families or representatives of persons who have been killed, injured, or have had their lives destroyed by Adderall.

Pharmaceutical Litigation Lawyer

Birth defectsMillions of people swallow prescription drugs daily in the U.S., and many have lost their lives as a result. At the Barrera Law Firm, we are well-versed in what it takes to get justice for those harmed by pharmaceutical products and we have the dedication it takes to see your case through to the finish.

Infant Death and Birth Defect Cases

At the Barrera Firm we are continually helping more and more clients who have had a baby or child injured or killed by certain psychoactive medications. Birth defects, seizures, problems with pre-term labor, delayed infant development, increases in “SIDS” and heart defects and PPHN or Primary Pulmonary Hypertension of the Neonate are all becoming increasingly common among today’s children as the number of women taking psychiatric drugs during pregnancy has risen.

Tragically, many mothers were not given access to accurate risk information from drug companies before their doctors prescribed what was once considered “safe” for nursing moms to help with Post-Partum Depression or Anxiety. These medications can seriously put nursing infants and babies from future pregnancies at risk. It has even become common for doctors to try to prevent certain psychiatric conditions by giving prescription psychiatric drugs to pregnant mothers, and it is the babies who have suffered the most.

Yet, drug makers have known longer than they have let on that these risks existed and they chose not to tell the public about many of the dangers.

Even if your case seems impossible you should investigate until you get answers. No child’s death or birth defect should be excused where the multi-billion dollar drug companies are concerned. We will help you obtain justice for your child.

Suicide and Wrongful Death

In 2004 the FDA began warning patients that certain antidepressants can cause suicide. A warning about homicidal ideation was later added to some drug labels. If you have lost a loved one to suicide or violence you feel may have been caused by a psychiatric drug, you may have a case. Call us at (956) 428-2822 to have your situation evaluated.

Having trouble finding a lawyer?

Many attorneys won’t take a case against a drug manufacturer unless it is an open-and-shut, easy win that will bring a quick settlement. Even if you’ve been turned away by other lawyers in the past, that does not mean your case has no merit. It could be that the lawyer you consulted was looking for a very specific type of client, or did not have adequate knowledge of drug side effects to understand the theories necessary to win your case. Do not give up! Call us for a case evaluation at (956) 428-2822.

Effexor Birth Defects and Infant Deaths

Pregnant woman with pillsApproximately one-third of pregnant women in the U.S. take psychotropic drugs during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Many of these women also breastfeed their babies while on antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and even antipsychotic drugs.

One of the most popular drugs for depression is the brand-name drug Effexor (venlafaxine), a combination SSRI/SNRI which has been shown to be present in breast milk at up to 5 times the rate of concentration in mother’s blood. Due to the risks to the baby, the manufacturer has placed a cursory warning against use during pregnancy and breastfeeding on the drug’s label.0

But that does not mean that if you have a child with a birth defect or a child whose death could have been caused by Effexor – that you have no claim.

These are some of the problems associated with the use of Effexor and other SSRIs / SNRI antidepressants during pregnancy:

Pharmaceutical manufacturer liability can often be based on an inadequate warning to the end consumer or the medical professional prescribing the drug to women. Deceptive, off-label marketing of psychiatric drugs to pregnant and nursing mothers takes many forms. Itcan often include scholarly studies bought and paid-for by pharmaceutical companies to convince doctors that the drugs are safe, even though the FDA has never approved them for pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Stronger warnings are needed to ensure that babies and mothers remain safe from toxic and deadly medications all too often regarded by health care professionals and consumers alike as “benign.”

As much as it is confusing for mothers looking for accurate information, you can be sure that a drug company rep has tried to convince your doctor or midwife that the so-called benefits of Effexor to you outweigh the risks for your baby. But nobody cares more about your baby than you do, and nobody cares more about making the pharmaceutical companies account for their wrongdoing than grieving parents. The Barrera Law Firm, PC is here to help you through what is going to be the most trying time in your life if you have suffered at the hands of the pharmaceutical companies.

Although the label for Effexor is constantly changing, the law changes as well, and you may have a claim – even if you have been told before that your case is too difficult. Contact The Barrera Law Firm, PC at 956 428 2822 to find out if your case can be pursued against Pfizer/Wyeth, makers of Effexor.

SSRI Drugs and Birth Defects

PillsEverybody wants their children to be born healthy and strong. Sadly, too many children are not, and for reasons that could have been prevented. This is especially true in situations where mothers were prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs–like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft–during pregnancy.

In January of 2012, the British Medical Journal published a study that linked SSRIs to the lung defect Persistant Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborns (PPHN) in infants of mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy.

This study is one of many that has reached similar conclusions about the potentially dangerous effects SSRIs can have on infants. The New England Journal of Medicine, the University of California San Diego, Boston University, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants have published articles that show strong evidence that antidepressant drugs can cause such serious birth defects as:

  • heart, brain and spinal defects
  •  skull deformities
  • clubfoot
  • abdominal abnormalities

The Food and Drug administration (FDA) reports that 20% of all Americans taking antidepressants, with millions among these being mothers. Drug manufacturers are now facing numerous legal challenges: GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil, has already begun resolving some of this litigation. A Bloomberg article from July of 2010 reports that GSK has so far spent around $1 billion to resolve birth defect claims. Approximately 800 of these were settled with awards that averaged $1.2 million each.

If you were prescribed an SSRI and gave birth to a child PPHN or any other serious birth defect, then you may be entitled to a settlement as well. The Barrera Law Firm is ready to go over the details of your situation. If your case qualifies, we will aggressively pursue compensation for you and your child. Please contact our firm today and let us fight for your rights.

The Facts About Topamax

Mother and babyAre you a woman took Topamax (also known as Topiramate) during pregnancy? And was your child born with health problems? If the answer is “yes” to both these questions, then you may have grounds to sue.

Topamax is a medication that doctors use to treat epilepsy, seizures and migraines and is part of a class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. On March 4, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released data suggesting that babies born to women who took Topamax during their first trimester have an increased risk of birth defects.

Unfortunately, many women who took the drug while pregnant were not warned about the potential defects that Topamax could cause. Some of the most common risks associated with this medication for unborn children include:

  • cleft palate
  • cleft lip
  • hypospadias (a condition in males in which the urethra opens on the under surface of the penis)

If you have a child who was born with any of these birth defects and you were taking Topamax while pregnant, you may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • your child’s pain and suffering
  • medical bills
  • long-term therapy/rehabilitation bills
  • emotional trauma

If you believe that you-and your child experienced the negative effects of Topomax, we will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation now!