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For many women anti seizure medications are not optional – they are life saving.
Women who suffer from epilepsy or other seizure disorders depend on drugs such as Topamax to keep them from seizing. However, when those women become pregnant they have to weigh the benefits and dangers of taking anti seizure medications in pregnancy. Topamax, in particular, can be dangerous.
Topamax Cleft Palate
In March 2011, the FDA issued a warning telling women and their doctors that taking Topamax during pregnancy could increase children’s odds of being born with a cleft lip or palate. Topamax cleft palate injuries occur in about 1.4% of children born to mothers who took the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy. That is a higher percentage of children than children born to mothers taking other anti seizure medications and children born to mothers who are not taking any anti seizure medications.
The complications can be significant. Cleft lips and palates can lead to breathing, eating, and other significant issues for children.
Women who are pregnant (or who may become pregnant) and who are taking anti seizure medications are urged to speak with their doctors about the safest options for them and for their babies.