Topamax, the brand name for the drug Topiramate, is a prescription drug that was manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and was made available to the general public in 1996. It was specifically produced to help people suffering from epileptic seizures and migraine attacks. By holding back seizure and pain-causing signals originating from the nerves, Topamax is able to effectively decrease the likelihood of migraine attacks and epileptic seizures more than any other brand.
It did not take long after its release, however, before this anti-seizure and anti-migraine prescription drug was found to increase the likelihood of birth defects occurring in the children of women who took the drug during their pregnancy. Unfortunately, a significant number of pregnant women were prescribed this medication before its deleterious effects became widely known.
The severe possible birth defects Topamax can cause made the US Food and Drug Administration take action, advising doctors to prescribe the drug only in particular circumstances. A statement from the FDA was also released on March 4, 2011 on the risks Topamax exposed pregnant women to in the event that they decide to use the drug.
One of the serious complications of Topamax is hypospadias, a condition that places the urethra, the tube where urine gets drained from the bladder, at the underside of the male organ instead of at the end. Besides causing complications in the normal method of urination, this condition can also considerably impede adult sexual intercourse.
Studies have shown that hypospadias are hereditary; studies also show, however, that the use of Topamax during pregnancy can increase the risk of this defect. Though medical treatment to correct the condition is available, the cost is prohibitively high for many. Yet, if not corrected, difficulty in the proper use of the toilet, decrease in sexual function plus insecurity, and depression may be lifelong inconveniences.