Jury Awards $4M for
Topamax Birth Defect


After an hour of deliberation, jurors decided that the anticonvulsant Topamax (topiramate) had, in fact, caused April Czimmer’s son to be born with a cleft lip, and delivered a $4.02 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson’s  Janssen Pharmaceutical unit.  “This was our first case to go to trial and there are many more behind it,” said Czimmer’s attorney; “This will expose the company to many more lawsuits.”

Article →From Wikipedia:

“Topiramate is used to treat epilepsy in children and adults, and it was originally used as an anticonvulsant . . . Psychiatrists have used topiramate to treat bipolar disorder, and they sometimes use topiramate to augment psychotropics, or to counteract the weight gain associated with numerous antidepressants. In 2006, a Cochrane review concluded that there is insufficient evidence on which to base any recommendations regarding the use of topiramate in any phase of bipolar illness. A more recent Cochrane review, published in 2010, suggested a benefit of topiramate in the treatment of symptoms of borderline personality disorder, however the authors note that this was based only on one randomized controlled trial and requires replication. Also the Authors noted that the long-term effects have not been studied.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. It took the makers of Thalidomide 50 years to issue an apology.

    LONDON — Decades of campaigning by victims of thalidomide, a morning sickness drug, have taken a new turn, with the first apology in 50 years to the victims and their families by the drug’s German manufacturer — and an incensed rejection of the apology as too little and too late from many of those it was intended to placate.


    How long will it take Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical unit ?

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