Nothing to Spaz about in This Drug: Topamax

Topiramate is an anticonvulsant or antiepilepsy drug for both children and adults.  A study sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline showed the following side effects more common in this drug than its competition, lamotrigine,: parasthesia, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, nausea, anorexia, and memory problems.  Other side effects include: psychomotor slowing, blindness, memory problems, fatigue, confusion and somnolence.

But, one recent FDA drug safety warning was very disturbing.  It stated that an increased risk of cleft palate, cleft lip and other oral birth defects in children born to mothers taking Topamax exists.  In 2010, two subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of the drug, agreed to pay more than $81 million in fines related to the illegal promotion of Topamax related to unapproved (“off-label”) psychiatric use.  Topamax is also sometimes prescribed for migraines.  Lawsuits continue as more and more children are born with defects, and as more patients are prescribed this dangerous drug.