Tegretol Linked to Birth Defects

A new study, published by the British Medical Journal, suggests that infants whose mother’s take the anti-epilepsy drug Tegretol (carbamazepine) while pregnant may be at risk of developing spina bifida.

The study looks at more than 2,600 pregnant women who all took carbamazepine to treat seizures. Carbamazepine is sold under the brand names Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol and Equetrol. According to the study results, more than 3 percent of the women who took the drug during the first trimester had children with birth defects, including spina bifida.

Tegretol and Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a serious condition that causes life-long injuries for an affected child. The condition is characterized by a malformation of some of the vertebra in the spinal cord. According to the study, spina bifida is the only serious congenital malformation that has been linked to Tegretol and other carbamazepine drugs.

Tegretol was first approved as an anticonvulsant in 1974. It is used in the treatment of epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia and bipolar disorder.

Valproate Epilepsy Drugs and Birth Defects

Another type of epilepsy medication, valproate, is marketed under the names Depakote, Depacon, Depakine and Stavzor. According to reports, these medications may also increase the risk of birth defects, including spina bifida. Other birth defects, reportedly, associated with valproate epilepsy drugs include cleft palate, abnormal skull development, holes in the heart, malformed limbs and urinary tract problems.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required that a stricter warning be added to valproare-based epilepsy drugs in 2009 to warn about the potential risk of neural tube defects in babies whose mothers use the medication.

Does Your Baby Have Spina Bifida?

If your infant was born with spina bifida or another birth defect and you have a history of taking Tegretol or another anticonvulsant, you should speak with an attorney about your legal rights. You can talk to an attorney from the law offices of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz to find out if you qualify to seek compensation. Call 844-794-7402 to schedule an evaluation of your case.

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