The anti-seizure medication Depakote (divalproex sodium and valproic acid) has been linked to cleft palate, particularly when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with a cleft palate after the mother took Depakote during pregnancy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What is a Cleft Palate?
Cleft lip and cleft palate are variations of a type of clefting congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. A cleft is a fissure or opening – a gap. It is the non-fusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. Approximately 1 in 700 children born have a cleft lip and / or a cleft palate.
Study Links Depakote to Cleft Palate
Children born to women taking Depakote may be up to 5 times more likely to be born with a cleft palate compared to children whose mothers did not take the medication, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in June 2010. Other defects linked to the use of Depakote in pregnancy include spina bifida and craniosynostosis.
“The use of valproic acid monotherapy in the first trimester was associated with significantly increased risks of several congenital malformations, as compared with no use of antiepileptic drugs or with use of other antiepileptic drugs,” the study’s authors concluded.
Cleft Palate Repair
Cleft palate repair is a type of plastic surgery that can be used to restore function and provide a more normal appearance. Most clefts can be repaired through specialized plastic surgery techniques, improving the child’s ability to eat, speak, hear and breathe.
Anti-Seizure Drugs Linked to Low IQ Scores
A study published in The Lancet Neurology
has determined that Depakote can cause lowered IQ’s and other cognitive deficiencies in children born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy. Specifically, the research found that babies exposed to Depakote in the womb had IQ’s that were seven to 10 points lower than other children at age six, as well as reduced language skills and memory capacity. Click here to learn more.
Do I have a Depakote Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in Depakote lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cleft palate cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with a cleft palate after the mother took Depakote during pregnancy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.