Adjust text size:
Depakote is a prescription drug FDA-approved to prevent epileptic seizures, migraines and manic episodes of bi-polar disorder. Depakote has been linked to tragic birth defects in the children of mothers who took the drug while pregnant. Most of these women were unaware Depakote use would lead to such defects.
At the Yost Legal Group, our Baltimore, Maryland defective drug attorneys will review the details of your Depakote case. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child has any congenital defects, please contact our Baltimore injury lawyers today.
Risks of Depakote Use
Unborn children of mothers taking Depakote are at an increased risk of several congenital birth defects and neural tube defects. At the Yost Legal Group, we will review your case to determine if someone negligently prescribed you Depakote.
Birth defects caused by the drug include:
- Neural tube defects, especially spina bifida
- Cleft palate
- Congenital heart defects
- Abnormal number of fingers or toes
- Urethra located in the wrong area of the penis
- Underdeveloped limbs
- Premature closure of skull sutures, leading to misshapen head
In addition, children whose mothers took Depakote while pregnant score lower on cognitive tests compared to other children.
Neural tube defects affect the brain and spinal cord. Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect that has been linked to Depakote. Spina bifida is an improper closing of the spinal column occurring in the first month of pregnancy; it causes nerve damage, and it often means that the baby’s legs will be paralyzed.
Depakote Widely Prescribed, Despite Warnings
Despite its adverse effects, Depakote has been a widely prescribed drug. Although Depakote use dates back to 1983, the FDA did not release a warning about birth defects until 2006, when a “black box” warning was released for the drug, informing women that the adverse effects to pregnancies may outweigh the benefits of the drug.
Depakote continued to be prescribed widely, and in 2009, the FDA issued another warning. This time, the FDA cautioned healthcare providers and patients that Depakote could cause neural tube disorders, cognitive impairment and other birth defects in developing unborn children.
Depakote has been shown to be most dangerous to developing children within the first trimester. Many women may be unaware that they are pregnant in the very beginning of the first trimester. Doctors who prescribe Depakote should inquire about whether the patient plans to become pregnant, and if not, if the woman is using contraception to prevent pregnancy.
A doctor prescribing Depakote should also offer the patient alternatives, especially if the drug is being prescribed for a non life-threatening condition like migraines. In all cases of prescribing Depakote, doctors and their patients should weigh the benefits of the drug against the likelihood of birth defects.
If you have used Depakote and are experiencing adverse effects, or if your child was born with birth defects, please contact The Yost Legal Group the experienced Baltimore, Maryland defective drug attorneys to schedule a consultation.
© 2010 The Yost Legal Group | Legal Website Design, Development & Search Engine Optimization by Page 1 Solutions, LLC
Maryland Personal Injury Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. We invite you to contact our personal injury attorneys for advice regarding your personal injury case. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship and you should not send any confidential information to us until such a relationship has been established. We serve clients in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.