A lawsuit has been filed against Abbott Laboratories on behalf of 40 children and one mentally disabled adult who were born with birth defects after their mothers took Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy. The victims were reportedly born with a variety of congenital defects including spina bifida and neural tube malformations. This latest claim is just one of a growing number of lawsuits pending against the manufacturer on behalf of its highly controversial anti-epileptic medication.
Depakote Birth Defects Update 1/24/13: A new study 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.
Free Depakote Birth Defects Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one gave birth to a child with severe congenital defects after taking Depakote while pregnant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the problem?
May 16, 2011 – This month, a Depakote lawsuit was filed in Illinois on behalf of a group of plaintiffs from around the country who allege that the drug was the cause of their birth defects. According to the complaint, Abbott failed to fully research the potential side effects of the drug, and failed to adequately warn about the risk of spina bifida and other Depakote birth defects. The claim alleges that the drugmaker knew about the risks of potential birth defects prior to releasing the drug but failed to warn the public or medical community about it. Abbott allegedly attempted to minimize the risk of Depakote birth defects and downplayed the danger on the product labeling. Additionally, the company has been accused of promoting Depakote for ‘off-label’ purposes such as depression, bi-polar disorders, and migraine headaches even though other alternatives are available that do not carry the same risks for side effects.
Side Effects of Depakote
Neural tube defects and spina bifida are the most common side effects reported as a result of the use of Depakote while pregnant. Incidences of these types of congenital defects are estimated to be at 1-2% of exposed fetuses. Other widely reported Depakote birth defects include:
- Cleft palate
- Facial dysmorphism
- Congenital cardiac defects
- Limb reduction
- Skeletal anomalies
FDA Warning on Depakote
In December 2009, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated the warning on Depakote, alerting women of childbearing age to be informed that the use of valproate sodium drugs could cause a wide variety of birth defects. The enhanced warning came after the agency looked at data from the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry that found that the use of valproate during pregnancy increases the risk of major birth defects and malformations. In particular, the risk of giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect was 1-in-20 for women who took valproate during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The FDA has since classified Depakote as a Pregnancy Category D medication, meaning that it has the potential to cause serious and potentially life-threatening birth defects.
Do I have a Depakote Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Depakote lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.