Birth Injury from Anti-Seizure Drugs Lawsuit Lawyers

Depakote and Topamax cause birth defects

Anti-seizure drugs have recently been associated with an increase the risk of oral cleft birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, as well as genital malformations (hypospadias).

Anti-seizure Drug Birth Injuries

Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate

Cleft lips and cleft palates are two types of oral birth defects that cause an opening in the mouth that splits the upper lip or the roof of the mouth called the palate. Oral clefts may be surgically corrected but may require multiple operations over the course of several years.

Throughout the first few months of pregnancy, oral clefts may develop, and the severity may vary from child to child. A cleft lip may reach the edge of the lip or stretch into the nose, and cleft palates may affect both the soft and hard palate.

Cleft lips and cleft palates may cause the following complications:

  • Difficulty feeding
  • Hearing loss, ear infections
  • Dental conditions if the cleft extends into the upper gum
  • Trouble forming sounds or speaking
  • Emotional, behavioral difficulties

Surgeries to repair a cleft lip may occur when a child is between 10 weeks and 3 months old, and cleft palate surgeries may occur in children 6 months old through 18 months old. Follow-up surgeries may begin to be performed in children who are 2 years old. If the oral cleft has affected the teeth, a teethridge grafting operation may also be needed.


Hypospadias is a birth (congenital) defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside, rather than at the end, of the penis.

The condition varies in severity. In most cases, the opening of the urethra is located near the tip of the penis on the underside. More severe forms of hypospadias occur when the opening is at the midshaft or base of the penis. Occasionally, the opening is located in or behind the scrotum.

Other symptoms include:

  • Abnormal spraying of urine
  • Having to sit down to urinate
  • Malformed foreskin that makes the penis look “hooded”

Surgery is usually done before the child starts school. Today, most urologists recommend repair before the child is 18 months old. Surgery can be done as young as 4 months old. During the surgery, the penis is straightened and the hypospadias is corrected using tissue grafts from the foreskin. The repair may require multiple surgeries.

If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with malformations and have used any of these drugs while pregnant, please contact Matthews & Associates now. Attorneys are available by phone or email. Click for a free legal consultation.