Study says Topamax may increase Glaucoma Risk

Topamax is an anti-seizure drug which has been associated with a number of serious side effects including cleft lip birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Now, a new study is showing that patients who use Topamax to help prevent epileptic seizures may also be at an increased risk for glaucoma.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia and was published in the July 9 edition of the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. The team relied on data from U.S. health claims database including records of more than 6 million patients between January 2006 and March 2014. They determined that individuals who use Topamax may be up to five times more likely to develop angle-closure glaucoma. They also found a link between glaucoma and the antidepressant Wellbutrin.

The Mayo Clinic states that “In angle-closure glaucoma, the angle formed by the cornea and the iris closes.” This may cause a rapid increase in intraocular pressure because fluid within the eye is not able to drain properly, and may lead to the formation of blind spots, tunnel vision, or even complete blindness if not treated properly. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma may include eye pain, the appearance of halos around lights, blurred vision, red eyes, or visual disturbance.

This is not the first time Topamax has been linked to glaucoma. In 2001 the FDA added glaucoma warnings to Topamax labels after receiving 23 cases where patients were diagnosed with the ocular condition as a possible Topamax side effect.

Topamax has been proven to be beneficial in reducing or preventing dangerous seizures in patient with epilepsy, but patients and doctors need to be aware of all side effects and risks of this medication and carefully weigh them against these benefits. When taken during pregnancy, Topamax has been associated with a higher risk of a number of birth defects including cleft lip and cleft palate, and some women believe that they were not sufficiently warned of this side effect. In Topamax birth defect lawsuits, women have claimed that they would not have taken this drug and endangered their baby if they had known of the risk of cleft palate and cleft lip defects linked to this drug. For more information on Topamax side effect lawsuits, contact an attorney for a free legal consultation.