The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the use of Depakote during pregnancy can increase the risk of spina bifida, neural tube defects and other birth defects in newborns. Depakote has only been approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy and migraines, but is sometimes prescribed for other unapproved conditions.
When taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, Depakote may increase a child’s risk of spina bifida, anencephaly or other neural tube defects by four times compared to other epilepsy drugs. Women who used Depakote while pregnant are also more likely to give birth to a child with other pregnancy side effects, including atrial and ventricular septal defects, tetralogy of Fallot, cleft palate, craniosynostosis and other heart defects and birth defects.
Other Depakote warnings issued by the FDA have warned about the risk of additional side effects associated with the drug. In June 2011, the agency warned that the children of women who use Depakote during pregnancy showed lower IQ scores than those who took other anti-seizure drugs. Depakote has also been linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.
Women who used Depakote during their pregnancy and gave birth to a child with neural tube defects such as spina bifida or other birth defects may qualify to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their injuries. In some cases, women who used Depakote during pregnancy were taking the drug for conditions that the FDA never approved Depakote to treat. Despite this, the agency has not announced plans to issue a Depakote recall.
If you or a loved one took Depakote while pregnant and gave birth to a child with birth defects, you may qualify for a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your rights, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.