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Topamax Survivors: Cleft Palate Treatment Approved

Cleft palate is a common birth defect in women who took Topomax during their pregnancy. According to research, the incidence of birth defects among women taking topiramate is higher than the birth defect rate in the rest of the population. Since half of pregnancies are unplanned, many women of childbearing age are on Topomax and not aware that they are pregnant. This could result in facial deformities, including cleft lip and cleft palate. While any birth defect is devastating and life altering a new cleft palate treatment has been approved that could help mothers and infants who have been injured by Topomax.

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According to reports, there are more than 4,000 cleft palate babies born every year in the United States. A new, non-invasive treatment may be available to treat these infants. Researchers indicate that the treatment is just as effective as the established method, but it is less invasive and expensive. Our birth defect attorneys in Boston are dedicated to advocating for victims whose lives have been altered by hazardous drugs. We are also abreast of developments in the medical community to help survivors of Topomax and other dangerous products.

The DynaCleft lip and palate treatment device bridges the clefted segments of the lip and palate with elastic. The device also forms to an infant’s mouth to provide for natural functions, including feeding, crying and smiling. The device is applied shortly after the child is born and guides soft tissue and bones together so that they can be more easily repaired. As parents of infants with cleft palates know, reconstructive surgery is intense. With this new device, the cleft surgery is better facilitated and promotes faster healing.

Advocates for the new device believe that it will save time and costs associated with cleft palate surgery. Most importantly, the device creates more comfort for the baby and eases the surgical process, reducing the amount of care needed by parents. Recent results found that the device is an improvement over older treatment methods. In older methods, parents had to commit to making adjustments to the device to ensure proper shaping, similar to getting braces tightened at an orthodontist. Prior methods are more costly, time consuming, and painful. The new topical method is just as effective and is more tolerable for babies. Though treatment of cleft palate can go on for years, this new method may raise hopes for future families impacted by the birth defect.

Since the known risks of Topomax have been made public, the FDA has increased the drug’s category from C to D, meaning that the drug can cause significant and unreasonable harm to the human fetus. The FDA has made a safety announcement regarding the connection between the use of Topomax and the development of birth defects, including cleft lip and cleft palate. Health professionals should not proscribe Topomax to women of childbearing age unless all other treatment methods have been exhausted. If you or someone you love has a child with a birth defect related to Topomax, you may be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced advocate can help you protect your rights.

Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

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