Other Birth Defects
A 2010 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that pregnant women who used the anti-seizure medication Depakote are more likely than users of similar drugs to give birth to a child with birth defects. While data from the study uncovered a link between Depakote and neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly, use of the drug during pregnancy was also associated with an increased risk of several additional birth defects.
According to medical records collected by the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies (EUROCAT), Depakote users were about twice as likely as users of other anti-seizure drugs to give birth to a child with heart problems known as atrial or ventricular septal defects. Children whose mothers took Depakote while pregnant were also at an increased risk of other heart defects, including pulmonary-valve atresia and Tetralogy of Fallot.
The use of Depakote by pregnant women was also linked to an increased risk of other birth defects than those identified in the EUROCAT study. Compared to women who used a similar class of drugs, Depakote users were five times more likely to give birth to a child with cleft palate or hypospadias, seven times more likely to have a child with craniosynostosis and twice as likely to deliver a baby with polydactyly.
Dozens of families have filed Depakote lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, alleging that the company failed to properly warn about the risk of neural tube defects and other congenital malformations caused by the use of the drug during pregnancy. Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the side effects of Depakote, the agency has not announced any plans to recall the drug.
If you or a loved one used Depakote during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with birth defects, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, 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.