Topamax May Affect Birth Control Pill Effectiveness
Submitted by: Consumer Justice Foundation
(OPENPRESS) May 6, 2011 -- The medical community is alight with new information regarding the affects of certain anticonvulsants on the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, use hormone regulation to prevent unwanted pregnancies in women. Numerous research studies suggest that anticonvulsants such as Topamax may increase the metabolism of estrogen and progesterone, leading to failure of hormone-based birth control in women taking an anticonvulsant medication.
This information comes on the heels of a recent FDA pregnancy category change to the classification of Topamax, revising the drug to a class D. Class D pregnancy drugs are defined as having significant human evidence that the drug has an ability to cause harm to a fetus if taken during pregnancy. The FDA revised the topiramate and Topamax pregnancy category after reports from the NAAED Pregnancy Registry that cleft palate and cleft lip rates in children born to mothers who took the drug were statistically significantly higher than those in the average population.
Given that Topamax is now a Class D medication and that drug also may have the ability to render birth control ineffective, medical professionals have rushed to inform patients of the inherent dangers of this drug interaction.
Birth defects linked to Topamax and topiramate (the active ingredient in Topamax) may include a specific set of oral-facial clefts such as cleft palate and cleft lip. Cleft palate and cleft lip from Topamax are characterized by a malformation in the tissues that form the hard or soft palates of the face and mouth. Oral clefts may range in severity from a small slit in the upper lip, to a more serious gaping hole in the hard palate (or roof) of the mouth.
The known problems with Topamax and birth control pills have been on the Topamax label for years, however, the fact that the drug interaction between Topamax and birth control may lead to birth defects that is recently gaining headlines.
The alleged Topamax birth defects of cleft palate and cleft lip are known to occur in the earliest stages of fetal development. In the first 28 days of gestation, the tissues that form the face, mouth, lips and palates are formed and if this tissue development is interrupted by any outside agent, the result can be an cleft palate. During this early stage of pregnancy, many women are not yet aware of the pregnancy and may be unknowingly taking a drug that can cause harm to their child.
Due to this information, it is recommended that any physician who prescribes Topamax or topiramate to a women of childbearing potential must inform their client of the inherent risks and advise them to use additional forms of birth control to safeguard against birth control pill failure. Forms of non-hormone based birth control that are not affected by Topamax include condoms, copper IUD, sponge or spermicides. If a client does not use additional forms of birth control, studies report that their oral contraceptives may have a rate of failure as high as 7%.
Women seeking more information about Topamax and birth control or Topamax birth defects can visit www.TopamaxBirthInjury.com for comprehensive information about the alleged dangers of this anticonvulsant medication. They are advised to seek the advice of a medical professional immediately if taking the drug during pregnancy.
About the Consumer Justice Foundation:
TopamaxBirthInjury.com is a Consumer Justice Foundation birth injury website. The Consumer Justice Foundation is a consumer watchdog agency that provides information and outlets for consumers who are experiencing legal problems with large corporations, insurance companies or pharmaceutical manufacturers. The Consumer Justice Foundation seeks to provide a voice for consumers faced with battling negligent corporations. For more information visit www.ConsumerJusticeFoundation.com.