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Seizure drug believed to cause birth defects

Ohio residents may be shocked to know that a recent ruling from a Philadelphia jury decided against Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical unit in a lawsuit that claimed the drug Topamax, a seizure medication, caused birth injuries to unborn children. According to the report, the company must now pay $4.02 million for the lawsuit.

According to the reports, the jury found for the plaintifff after learning about a woman who gave birth to a little boy with a cleft lip. She had been taking the seizure medication for six months. She stated that her child then needed four surgeries to correct his birth defects.

This case was just one of around 134 pending cases in the state court in Pennsylvania that are a direct result of the use of the drug, Topamax. The company has stated that it will appeal the verdict, because it believes that the warnings were clear and pointed out the risk of birth defects. The company had also allegedly argued that cleft lips were a common congenital malformation, and they reported that nearly 4,500 babies are born with one each year in the United States alone. The company also argued that the woman was taking other medications and smoked during her pregnancy; however, the woman would have been taking the medication through the first trimester of her pregnancy, according to the news. This is often the riskiest time for medication use in the development of a fetus.

Birth defects can be serious and may result in pain and suffering for your child. If you believe you have been misled about a medication or if your child has been injured during birth, you may want to look into the options available to you. You might be able to seek compensation that could help your child recover or receive the ongoing care he needs.

Source:, "Jury awards $4M on claim Janssen drug caused birth defect" No author given, Oct. 30, 2013

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