Cleft Palate Risk

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This month the FDA issued a warning that pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should not take the epilepsy and migraine drug Topamax, also sold under the generic name of topiramate. The FDA warned that Topamax can increase the risks of birth defects in and around the mouth of the child, known as oral clefts. Oral clefts, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, occur early in development when the right and left sides of the mouth do not fully join together. This condition is evident at birth as a gap or cleft in the roof of the mouth and the upper lip. In more severe cases there is complete communication inside the mouth, between the tongue and the nose.