The FDA has warned that the Anti convulsion drug Topamax (topiramate), which is prescribed for women suffering from epilepsy seizures as well as migraine is not safe to take during pregnancy.
The drug topiramate has been associated with increased risk of birth defects of the oral cavity such as a cleft palate, cleft lip and so on.
The drug is seen to increase the risk of such birth defects by three times, if it is taken during the first three months of a pregnancy, it has been found.
A cleft palate or a cleft lip don’t just mean cosmetic problems for a child, they can also mean problems relating to speech, eating, and an increased incidence of certain infections.
Research has found that women who take other epilepsy drugs have a 0.38% to 0.55% chance of having babies with a cleft lip or similar oral deformity.
However, among women who took the topiramate drug this risk was seen to increase significantly to 1.4%. Ordinarily, the incidence of such oral deformity is just 0.07% among women who take no such drugs at all.
It isn’t just pregnant women; the FDA has indicated that doctors should exercise caution in prescribing the anti epileptic medications for all women of child bearing age.