Valproic acid is a generic chemical compound that is closely related to the drug Depakote. Valproic acid was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration under the brand name Depakene in 1978 for the treatment of epilepsy. It has also been approved by the FDA to treat patients with bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches.
In December 2009, the FDA issued a warning about the increased risk of side effects in children whose mothers took valproic acid during pregnancy. The FDA warning stated that women who use valproic acid or similar drugs such as Depakote during pregnancy are up to four times more likely than users of other epilepsy drugs to give birth to a child with congenital birth defects. When taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, patients who used valproic acid were up to 80 times more likely to give birth to a child with neural tube defects such as anencephaly or spina bifida.
Valproic acid or Depakote users whose children were born with birth defects may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their child’s injuries. Attorneys representing victims of valproic acid or Depakote have predicted that thousands of birth defects lawsuits may eventually be filed on behalf of children who were injured by these drugs.
If you or a loved one used valproic acid or Depakote while pregnant and gave birth to a child with neural tube defects or other birth defects, 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.