Rottenstein Law Group Concerned Recent Topamax Study May Prompt Doctors to Prescribe the Drug for Weigh Loss, Despite Alarming Side Effects
(New York, NY, June 27, 2011) The Rottenstein Law Group, which is currently evaluating potential claims of those who have suffered injuries as a result of taking the anticonvulsant drug Topamax, is concerned by the conclusion of a recent study which stated that Topamax might be useful as a weight-loss drug.
Topamax, the brand name for the drug topiramate, is an anticonvulsant prescribed either alone or in combination with other drugs, to combat seizures brought on by epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Additionally, Topamax is may also be prescribed for the prevention of migraine headaches.
Topamax was first developed by Ortho-McNeil Neurologies and Noramco, both divisions of Johnson & Johnson. The drug received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of seizures in 1996, and approval for migraine prevention in 2004. Over the past ten years, additional studies of Topamax have been conducted for use of the drug to treat conditions ranging from bipolar disorder, bulimia, alcohol dependence, and weight gain associated with the use of anti-depressants. These studies have been conducted despite the FDAís approval of the drug specifically for treatment of seizures and migraine headaches.
Recent studies have revealed that Topamax appears to cause an increase in suicidal tendencies, and may also cause harm to unborn foetuses, when taken by pregnant women, according to a Drug Safety Communication issued by the FDA on March 4, 2011. The FDA document cites that data have shown that babies born to mothers taking Topamax are 20 times more likely to have birth defects, specifically a cleft lip and a cleft palate. This risk takes on greater significance when combined with evidence that Topamax may also decrease the efficacy of oral contraceptives, thereby increasing a womanís ability to become pregnant while taking the drug.
A recent study conducted at the Obesity Clinical Trials Program of Duke University Medical Center observed the effectiveness and safety of monitored doses of the drugs phentermine and topiramate on overweight participants. In the study, overweight adults with two or more additional risk factors (hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, prediabetes or abdominal obesity) were randomly assigned to take a placebo or a high or low dose of phentermine and topiramate. Each participant was put on a diet and exercise plan to be followed while taking the medications. After about a year, the placebo group had lost an average of 3 pounds. Those who combined diet and exercise with the prescribed drugs lost considerably more weight. Participants on the low dosage lost an average of about 18 pounds; those on the higher dosage, lost an average of 22 pounds. Commonly reported side effects during the study were dry mouth, paraesthesia (tingling or numbness of the skin), constipation, insomnia, dizziness, and dysguesia (distorted sense of taste). Events relating to anxiety or depression were also reported. Despite these side effects, the study concluded that the weight loss benefits exhibited might be worth the risks taking these drugs carry.
The Rottenstein Law Group is advising anyone who has been prescribed Topamax, and suffered from any adverse side effects, including harm to a newborn infant, to visit the firmís Topamax Birth Defects Lawsuit Information Center to obtain more details about this alarming situation. The site is equipped with easy-to-use social media features that enable users to spread the word about the dangers of Topamax on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
About the Rottenstein Law Group
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, a lawyer with over two decades of experience in compassionate representation of clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action law suits. For more information, please visit their Web site, or call (888) 9-ROT-LAW.
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