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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Some Drugs and Medications Including Antidepressants Can Cause Neural Tube Birth Defects, Spina Bifida Birth Defects, Cleft Lip and Palate Birth Defects, and other Birth Defects by Texas Birth Defect Lawyer and Texas Drug Birth Defect Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Neural Tube Birth Defects, Spina Bifida Birth Defects, Cleft Lip and Palate Birth Defects, and other Birth Defects Are on The Rise As Many Pregnant Women Have Been Given Drugs That Increase the Risk That Their Children Will Suffer Birth Defects by Texas Birth Defect Lawyer and Texas Drug Birth Defect Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

A growing body of evidence indicates that several drugs and medications, if used during pregnancy, may cause serious birth defects.  These drugs include Topamax, Depakote, and several selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor SSRI antidepressants.  Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used as antidepressants. Drugs included in the SSRI class are Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Symbyax, Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor and Lexapro.

These drugs may cause birth defects and developmental problems if taken during pregnancy.  Some potential birth defects and developmental problems include neural tube birth defects, spina bifida birth defects, heart defects, cleft palates, cleft lips, clubbed feet, as well as other malformations and developmental problems.  Many of these drugs have been strongly marketed by the drug companies and are commonly used to treat depression and other disorders. 
It is vitally important that mothers that have been placed on drugs while pregnant and that have had a child with a birth defect report the adverse event to their doctor and the FDA.  These reports will help prevent other families from suffering birth defects from defective drugs. For more information on Defective Drug Birth Defects Lawsuits, please feel free to follow the links in this blog post or contact Texas Birth Defect Lawyer Jason S. Coomer to determine if a drug you were on while pregnant might have caused a birth defect.

Neural Tube Birth Defects Include Birth Defects of the Brain and Spinal Cord

The neural tube is the embryonic structure that develops into the brain and spinal cord. In most pregnant women, the neural tube normally folds inward and closes by the 28th day after conception. When the neural tube fails to close completely or develop properly, defects of the brain, spinal cord and vertebrae can result in the child.  These neural tube birth defects can result in death or serious nerve damage that can cause permanent paralysis, disabilities, and severe health problems. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly.

Neural tube defects are serious birth defects caused by incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and/or their protective coverings.  These brain and spinal cord birth defects occur when the fetus' spine fails to close properly during the early stages of pregnancy.
Spina Bifida Birth Defects Are the Most Common Neural Tube Defect and Affect About 1,500 New Born Children Each Year

Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect and it is estimated that there are approximately 70,000 people in the United State living with spina bifida.  It is an all too common birth defect in the United States affecting about approximately 1,500 new born babies each year.

In a child that has a spina bifida birth defect, the fetal spinal column doesn't close completely during the first month of pregnancy.  These children typically suffer nerve damage from the birth defect that causes at least some paralysis of the child's legs. Severe cases of spina bifida can result in full or partial paralysis and other problems such as hydrocephalus, bowel and bladder problems, and learning disabilities.

There are several forms of spina bifida and the birth defect can cause mild to severe health problems.  Myelomeningocele spina bifida is the most severe form of spina bifida.  Myelomeningocele is where the spinal cord and meninges protrude from a spinal opening.  In myelomeningocele spina bifida cases, the new born child will require surgery after birth to put the exposed nerves and cord into the spinal canal.  Children with myelomingocele are at high risk of infection until the back is closed surgically. In spite of surgery,  in these myelomeningocele spina bifida cases, some nerve damage is usually permanent and will include paralysis and bowel and bladder problems.

For more information on Spina Bifida and Spina Bifida Lawsuits, please go to the following web page on Spina Bifida Lawsuit Information.

Depakote Spina Bifida Lawsuit Information

The drug, Depakote, aka Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, Epival, D├ępakine Chrono,Valance, and divalproex sodium (USAN) is a drug prescribed to treat seizures, migraine headaches, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, prevention of both manic and depressive phases of bipolar disorder, epilepsy, chronic pain associated with neuropathy, and migraine headaches. Further, with the increase in pharmaceutical marketing off-label use of the drug has become more prevalent including treatment of mild depression, the depressive stage of bi-polar disorder, and chronic pain such as migraine headaches.

Depakote has been linked to major birth defects in children of women that were taking this drug.  According to a recent medical scientific study, women taking Depakote had four times the risk of delivering a child with major birth defects, compared to women taking other, similar drugs.  The range of birth defects associated with Depakote is broad, however the report specifically cited neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Neural tube defects are birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord; spinal bifida is a defect affecting the spinal cord that causes paralysis of the legs. There is no known cure.

In addition to spina bifida and neural tube birth defects, other birth defects that may be caused by Depakote include cleft palate, cleft lip, heart defects, limb and digital deformities, facial dysmorphism, mental developmental delays, and (difficult) genitourinary malformations.

For more information on Depakote Spina Bifida Lawsuits, Depakote Cleft Palate Lawsuits, and other Depakote Birth Defect Lawsuits, please feel free to go to the following web page on Depakote Spina Bifida Lawsuit and Depakote Birth Defect Lawsuit Information

 Topamax Birth Defect Lawsuit Information
Topiramate (brand name Topamax) is a anticonvulsant drug. It has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy and migraines, but has been aggressively marketed for many off-label uses including bipolar disorder, cluster headaches, eating disorders, obesity, fibromyalgia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcoholism, sleep disorders, sleep-eating disorders, infantile spasms, autism, periventricular leukomalacia in preterm infants after an hypoxic-ischemic injury, essential tremor, bulimia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder, smoking cessation, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, neuropathic pain, and cocaine dependence.  If you or a loved one have been taking Topamax during pregnancy and had a child with a birth defect, it is important to seek medical assistance.

The FDA recommends that "before starting topiramate, pregnant women and women of childbearing potential should discuss other treatment options with their health care professional. Women taking topiramate should tell their health care professional immediately if they are planning to or become pregnant. Patients taking topiramate should not stop taking it unless told to do so by their health care professional. Women who become pregnant while taking topiramate should talk to their health care professional about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, a group that collects information about outcomes in infants born to women treated with antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy."
The FDA has recently announced that Topiramate (brand name Topamax) causes an increased risk of development of cleft lip and/or cleft palate (oral clefts) in infants born to women treated with Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy. If you or a loved one have been taking Topamax during pregnancy and had a child with a birth defect, it is important to seek medical assistance.  

For more information on a Topamax Cleft Liph Defect Lawsuit, Topamax Cleft Palate Lawsuit, and other Topamax Birth Defect Lawsuit, please feel free to go to the following web page on Topamax Cleft Palate Lawsuit and Topamax Cleft Lip Birth Defect Lawsuit Information.

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