In March of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Topamax® (topiramate) could increase the risk of cleft lip and cleft palate in infants that are exposed to the medication during the early stages of development.
If you used the medication Topamax® or a generic version of the drug called topiramate during pregnancy and your child suffered from either of these two birth defects, you should contact an attorney today to find out if you qualify to file a Topamax® cleft lip lawsuit.
Our lawyers are available to investigate Topamax® cleft palate lawsuits on behalf of affected infants and their parents. If you were prescribed Topamax® to combat epilepsy while you were pregnant and gave birth to a child with cleft palate, contact us for a free case review.
Seek Compensation for Cleft Lip
Cleft lip develops at approximately 5-6 weeks after conception when the structures that normally fuse together to form the lips leave a gap in the middle. This gap, which is called a cleft, can extend from the mouth to the nose and can result in other complications such as speech problems.
Initial surgery is usually performed within 3 months of birth. Depending on the severity of the cleft, patients might require more than one surgery to repair the cleft. Plastic surgery later in life might be used to help with the scarring and physical appearance. In most cases, patients will achieve normal speech and eating as well as appearance. The treatment process can take years, however.
Legal Action for Cleft Palate
Cleft palate is a birth defect involving gaps in the roof of the mouth. The palate is formed when structures that make up the mouth meet in the middle and fuse together. When the structure doesn’t close all the way, a cleft is formed. The cleft, or separation, can cause problems for the infant, such as difficulty eating, hearing and speaking.
Cleft lip development can occur before a woman is even aware she is pregnant. A diagnosis can sometimes be made before birth via an ultrasound.
Treatment for cleft palate can involve one or several surgeries. The first surgery to repair the gap will be performed within 6 to 12 months of birth. The initial surgery will help reduce chances of fluid developing in the middle ears (which can result in infection and hearing loss) and will also help with the development of the teeth and facial bones. Depending on the severity of the cleft, multiple surgeries over the course of 18 years might be required.
In some cases, children with cleft palate may require a bone graft to support permanent teeth and stabilize the upper jaw. Approximately 20 percent of cleft palate patients will require surgery to help with their speech problems.
Cleft palates are also correctable through surgeries, but these surgeries are often expensive and painful. And, in many cases, patients will need multiple surgeries throughout their lives. In addition to surgery, other therapies and dental work may be required.
Contact a Topamax® Lawyer
If your child is suffering from cleft palate, it is important to know your rights. Our Topamax® cleft lip lawyers believe that when a drug causes harm to a patient, the manufacturer should be held accountable. We will help you recover the financial compensation you are entitled to and will guide you through this emotional time.
Giving birth to a child with any type of defect can be devastating. We all want our children to be healthy. A lawsuit can help a family obtain justice for the emotional and financial challenges they face. Financial compensation will not reverse the damage done, but it can help parents seek the best in medical care for their children.
If you believe your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate was caused by Topamax®, contact our lawyers for help. We will evaluate the details of your case to determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit.