The maternal use of Depkaote during pregnancy is linked to increased risk of a variety of birth defects, including life threatening cardiovascular defects.
Depakote (generic: divalproex sodium) was approved by the FDA in 1983 for the treatment of certain seizures associated with epilepsy. In 1996, the FDA also approved its use for the prevention of migraines. Manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, Depakote use by pregnant women has been shown to increase their babies’ risk of developing congenital defects.
Depakote Linked to Birth Defects
A study published in the June 2010 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that exposure to Depakote before birth may increase a baby’s risk of:
- Spina Bifida – risk increased by more than 12 times
- Atrial Septal Defects – more than tripled risk
- Cleft Palate – risk increased by more than 5 times
- Hypospadias – risk increased by more than 6 times
- Craniosynostosis – risk increased by more than 7 times
- Polydactyly – more than doubled risk
Research published in the journal Neurology showed that maternal use of Depakote may increase a child’s risk of developing autism by 7 times.
Additionally, exposure to Depakote in utero has been linked to mental deficiencies. A study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which indicated that toddlers whose mothers took Depakote while pregnant scored seven to eight points lower on IQ tests than children whose mothers used other epilepsy treatments. Children exposed to Depakote before birth were also found twice as likely to score in the IQ range associated with mental retardation.
FDA & Depakote Safety Alerts
In December 2009, the FDA issued a safety announcement reminding healthcare professionals about the increased risk of neural tube defects and other serious birth defects associated with prenatal exposure to Depakote. The FDA recommended that women who could become pregnant not use Depakote unless it is necessary for managing a medical condition.
Your Baby’s Rights
If your baby was born with a birth defect that may have been caused by exposure to Depakote before birth, your family deserves financial compensation. Although no amount of money will change what happened to your baby, compensation will help offset the current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you and your baby have experienced. Filing a claim will also teach the manufacturers of unsafe medications that it is unacceptable to not warn parents of the risks associated with these drugs, including serious birth defects. Your suit may even prevent other families from suffering as yours has, by forcing the pharmaceutical company to change their drug’s label to warn parents of the potential risks.
You may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your baby’s injury. Contact us today to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.