Manufactured and marketed by Novartis, Tegretol has been prescribed for over 30 years for the treatment of epileptic seizures, bipolar disorder, and other medical conditions. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that Tegretol may be associated with severe birth defects including spina bifida and heart abnormalities. If you took Tegretol during pregnancy and your baby was born with birth defects, you need to speak with a lawyer now.

Tegretol Birth Defects Lawsuit Review:If you or somebody you know has a child that has been diagnosed with a birth defect related to Tegretol, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

Which birth defects have been linked to Tegretol?

The following is a list of congenital abnormalities that are currently being evaluated for potential Tegretol birth defect lawsuits:

In response to information regarding these Tegretol birth defects, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has classified the drug in Pregnancy Category D. According to the FDA, this means that there is positive human evidence of Tegretol’s potential to cause significant, potentially life-threatening birth defects if taken by an expecting mother during pregnancy. The administration has advised physicians to avoid prescribing Tegretol to pregnant women unless the possible benefits of the treatment justify the potential risks to the fetus.

Tegretol & Spina Bifida Birth Defects

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that babies whose mothers took Tegretol (carbamazepine) during pregnancy had an increased risk of developing a severe congenital birth defect known as spina bifida. The research examined over 2,000 expecting mothers who took carbamazepine while they were pregnant. The cumulative study results indicated that more than 3% of the women who took the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy (a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant) gave birth to children with spina bifida and other birth defects.

Tegretol Overview

Originally approved for use by the FDA in 1974, Tegretol (carbamazepine) has been widely prescribed in treating individuals suffering from epilepsy, the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and neuropathic (nerve) pain. Tegretol is designed to work by interfering with nerve impulses in the brain that are responsible for causing pain and seizures. The drug evens out the ‘highs’ (mania) and ‘lows’ (depression) in mood associated with bipolar disorder, and is recommended to treat these issues when lithium and/or valproate sodium drugs are ineffective. Additionally, Tegretol is also often used in combination with other mood stabilizer medications.

A manic episode is characterized by a distinctive period in which there is an abnormally and persistently elevated irritable mood. The mood disturbance is typically accompanied by inflated self esteem (grandiosity), decreased need for sleep, distractibility, psychomotor agitation, and excessive involvement in pleasure seeking activities with a high potential for painful consequences. These symptoms are often due to the effects of prescription medications like Tegretol.

A depressive episode, on the other hand, involves feelings of sadness, emptiness, and pessimism. An individual suffering from depression may sleep excessively – many seriously depressed people can sleep as many as 20 hours a day. Additionally, depressive episodes are often accompanied by marked changes in weight and appetite. Symptoms of depression can creep up slowly and be difficult to notice. If you suspect a loved one of being seriously depressed, it is important to take note of all these characteristics.

Tegretol Birth Defects Studies

Tegretol was one of the first epilepsy drugs approved for use in the United States by the FDA, and has continued to remain on the market without restriction since 1974. Unfortunately, evidence for potentially life-threatening Tegretol birth defects has been known for over 20 years. In 1989, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that the teratogenicity of Tegretol – the drug’s ability to interrupt fetal development and cause congenital malformations – was illustrated by the birth defects present in infants born to women who took the drug during pregnancy. Of the 35 children observed in the study:

  • 11% were born with craniofacial defects
  • 26% developed hypoplasia of the nails
  • 20% experienced developmental delays

Then in 2001, another study published in the NEJM identified anticonvulsant medications like Tegretol to be one of the most common causes of potential harm to unborn babies. Yet despite these risks, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has stated that the number of anticonvulsants on the market has increased dramatically over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, because most birth defects initially occur in the first trimester of pregnancy, and because approximately 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, all women of childbearing age taking Tegretol may be at risk of causing irreversible damage to their unborn children before they are even aware they are pregnant.

If you are taking Tegretol

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is important that you notify your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before beginning a regimen of Tegretol. People living with bipolar disorder who wish to become pregnant face tough decisions regarding the risks and benefits of the medications they take as they relate to the illness, as well as to the fetus. This is a complex decision, as untreated bipolar disorder may adversely affect the fetus as well as the expecting mother. There is much to consider when making these decisions, so be sure to discuss these issues at length with your healthcare provider.

Is there a time limit in filing a Tegretol birth defects lawsuit?

Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their Tegretol birth defects lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential Tegretol birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.


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