Topamax Side Effects

Although there are many successful reports for the use of Topamax, there are also many potential side effects. About 10 percent of the drug’s users report:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Appetite loss

Reports of more serious problems include:

  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Metabolic acidosis, which produces rapid breathing, fatigue, and a stupor-like condition

Pregnant women taking Topamax, especially those in their first trimester of pregnancy, are 21 times more likely to deliver a baby with oral cleft defects. Other birth issues, including penile defects, pulmonary hypertension, limb malformations, lung defects, heart defects and spina bifida, have also been linked to Topamax use.

Infants of breastfeeding mothers taking Topamax also have the potential of suffering serious side effects including aggressiveness, confusion, drowsiness, infection, appetite loss and weight loss.

In 2011 the FDA issued a warning to women of child-bearing age that this drug increases the risk of birth defects, but by this time millions of children had already been exposed to the adverse risks.

Some Topamax users have also reported symptoms of glaucoma or eye pain and redness, which may develop a few weeks after starting the drug.

Those who take Topamax are also urged to drink plenty of fluids because there is an increased risk of developing kidney stones with this drug. The use of alcohol while on this medication is strongly discouraged because it increases the risk of a seizure.

Women taking Topamax who plan to become pregnant have been warned of possible malformations to the fetus, especially development of a cleft lip or palate.

Topamax Lawsuits

Many parents of children who were born with complications have already filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. Their claim is that Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew as early as 2008 of the potential risks associated with Topamax, but that they failed to warn consumers.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits feel that they could have chosen safer alternatives had they known of the potential harm that Topamax use carried.

It’s also been noted that Topamax reduces the effectiveness of contraception, making it even more urgent that women be warned about the side effects of the drug.