There are a number of reasons why you may have taken – or still take – Depakote®. Also known as valproic acid, Depakote® is a drug that treats epileptic seizures as well as migraine headaches, bipolar disorder and manic depression. The drug has been widely prescribed since its release by Abbot Laboratories in the late 1970s, and helps many people control symptoms that range from seizures to pain and manic episodes.
However, some people have had complications that weren’t originally indicated by Abbot Laboratories in the drug’s warnings.
Depakote® Birth Defects
Some women who took Depakote® during pregnancy gave birth to babies with birth defects including a cleft palate, heart defects, or brain and spinal defects such as an underdeveloped brain and spina bifida, or underdevelopment of other organs. It has also been reported that some children who were exposed to Depakote® in utero have grown up to have lower IQ rates.
Research reveals that the following birth defects are common among children of women who took valproic acid (Depakote®) during their first trimester compared with children of women who did not take any anti-seizure drugs:
- Spina bifida: Also called a neural tube defect, this condition occurs when the bones of the spine don’t develop properly around part of the baby’s spinal cord. The exact cause is unknown, and symptoms for the most severe cases include little or no feeling in their legs, feet, or arms, bladder or bowel problems, fluid buildup in the brain, or scoliosis (a curve in their spine).
- Atrial septal defect: This is defect is hole in the heart. It can occur in any part of the ventriuclar septum, which make up the two lower chambers of the heart. It can cause a series of symptoms, depending on the size, including congestive heart failure, abnormally rapid breathing, wheezing, enlarged liver, or life-threatening complications during infancy.
- Cleft palate: A cleft lip is facial or oral malformation that occurs when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area while the baby is developing inside the mother.
- Hypospadias: This is an abnormality in the opening of the urethra in boys in which the opening of the penis is on the underside rather than the tip. Because of this the baby may spray while urinating and usually requires corrective surgery to fix.
- Polydactyly: This is a birth defect where an infant may be born with extra fingers or toes.
- Craniosynostosis: This defect is when one or more sutures on a baby’s skull close prematurely, before your baby’s brain is fully formed. It usually requires corrective surgery to repair the shape of the head and allow for normal brain growth. More severe cases may result in neurological damage.
Additional Information on Depakote®
There are a number of ways that you or your family could have experienced adverse effects of Depakote®. Birth defects or a child who has trouble learning in school can be the result of taking Depakote® while pregnant. We can help you understand more about your particular case and help you with a lawsuit if that is the right path for you to take.
Depakote® is also known as Depakene®, Depakote® ER, Stavzor®, and Depakote® Sprinkle, as well as divalproex sodium and valproate sodium.
We Can Help
If you or a loved one have suffered because of Depakote®, or have been injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Recovery may include compensations for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages. To find out if you have a claim, please call Avram Blair & Associates, P.C. toll-free at (800) 648-2139 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.