Depakote Spina Bifida Lawsuit

February 1, 2010

Depakote Spina Bifida

Depakote, a widely used anti-epileptic and anti-seizure drug, is manufactered and marketed by Abbott Laboratories. Depakote was first approved by the US FDA and introduced in the US market in 1983.  Until 1995, Depakote was primarily used to treat the seizures associated with epilepsy.  In 1995 it was approved to treat the manic episodes associated with bi-polar disorder or manic depression. Depakote was used to treat the long-term manic and depressive parts of rapidly-cycling bipolar disorder. After positive results in treating manic depression, additional applications for Depakote began to be introduced. Over the next several years Depakote began to be prescribed for migraine headaches and the chronic pain associated with nervous system diseases and neuropathies.

If Depakote is used during pregnancy, or if a woman becomes pregnant while taking Depakote, she and her doctor should be aware of the serious risk to the fetus of birth defects. The use of Depakote during pregnancy has potentially been shown to cause serious harm to the fetus, often resulting in severe and irreversible birth defects. The birth defects associated with taking Depakote during pregnancy most commonly include spina bifida, the most common form of neural tube defects; however, other serious congenital malformations have also occurred.

Neural tube defects occur when the embryonic neural tube fails to close completely. Serious defects like spina bifida and anencephaly are both results of neural tube defects.

According to a 2004 study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, children born to women taking Depakote are much more likely to suffer birth defects and other problems. Researchers said that if possible women should avoid taking this medication during their childbearing years.

In the study, researchers showed these problems were more common when women took Depakote during pregnancy compared with women who took a newer drug, Lamictal. Serious birth defects and developmental delays occurred in 28% of children whose mothers took Depakote compared with just 2% of children whose mothers took the newer drug. 

Depakote Birth Defect Side Effects

Severe Depakote side effects may include:

  • Spina bifida
  • Spina bifida occulta
  • Spina bifida closed neural tube defects
  • Spina bifida meningocele
  • Spina bifida myelomeningocele (cystica)
  • Neural tube closure defects
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Atrial septal defects
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Hypoplastic right heart
  • Dysplastic ribs
  • Cleft palate
  • Limb malformations
  • Hydronephrosis (distention and dilation of the renal pelvis)
  • Undescended testes
  • Hypospadias (male birth defect involving a misplaced urethral opening)
  • Skeletal defects
  • Anencephaly
  • Rachischisis
  • Death of the newborn

Speak to a Depakote Spina Bifida Lawyer

If your child was born with spina bifida, neural tube defects or other severe birth defects that may have resulted from taking Depakote during pregnancy, please contact our law firm immediately to discuss your legal options. Speak to a Depakote Spina Bifida lawyer about your child’s skeletal defects, spina bifida, growth retardation or other injuries and learn about what legal options are available to your family. Our law firm has represented thousands of clients over the last twenty five years and thoroughly understands drug litigation. Contact an Depakote Spina Bifida Attorney today for a free and confidential Depakote Spina Bifida Lawsuit evaluation.

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