Depakote Side Effects
If you took DEPAKOTE during pregnancy and your child developed any kind of birth defects you may be entitled to financial compensation. Fill out the contact form and find out how a Depakote lawsuit attorney can help.
Alleged Harmful Side Effects of Depakote
Depakote is a medication that’s used by millions of people to treat conditions that include epilepsy, the manic episodes that are associated with bipolar disorder and migraine headaches. Depakote is the commercial brand of divalproex sodium. Depakote was originally approved for use in the United States in 1983, and it is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. Since then, it has been hailed as a savior by many who have used it to minimize the symptoms of their seizure disorders.
Unfortunately, reports of alleged Depakote side effects eventually began to arise, and many of these alleged Depakote side effects involved the tendency for pregnant women who were using this medication to deliver children who were born with birth defects. Below you’ll find a summary of some of the more common alleged Depakote side effects.
Birth injuries describe general terms that relate to birth defects, and Depakote has allegedly been linked to several different forms of birth injuries that can vary in severity. Some of these Depakote birth defects are relatively minor, some can be corrected with surgical procedures while still others can be permanent and/or put the child’s life in danger.
Cleft palate describes a birth defect whereby a child is born with a split or an opening in the roof of the mouth or the throat. This opening can occur at the front of the throat or either the front or the back of the roof of the mouth, and it must be corrected with surgery. Cleft Palet birth defects have an alleged connection to Depakote use.
No birth defect is more severe than one that results in a child’s death. Alleged Depakote side effects have included tendencies for children in the early stages of a pregnancy to die, and there are many reasons that this can occur. Many times, fetal death is the result of a severe malformation of a critical portion of the child’s anatomy.
Growth retardation is medically defined as any child who is smaller than 90 percent of children of the same age in the same general geographic region. Children who are born with growth retardation can live normal lives, but they can also suffer from consequences that include low blood sugar and a weakened immune system.
Hand deformations are birth defects that can describe several different medical problems, and hand deformations can range in severity from relatively mild to severe. Specific hand deformations that have been linked to Depakote include the fusing of fingers together, short fingers, missing fingers, inflexible tendons and the formation of clefts between the fingers or on the hand.
Heart malformations are another severe birth defect that has been alleged to have been caused by the use of Depakote. Heart malformations can arise in several forms, including malformations of the heart’s ventricles and chambers as well as problems with the development of the arteries that lead to and from the heart.
Neural Tube Birth Injury
The neural tube is a component of the anatomy of the fetus that is absolutely critical in terms of the ultimate development of the child into a healthy human being. The neural tube is the precursor to what eventually develops into the central nervous system, consisting of the brain, the spinal cord and the protective structures that include the skull and the vertebrae. Several life-changing and even deadly conditions can result from neural tube malformation.
Skeletal Birth Defects
Skeletal birth defects describe a wide range of developmental problems that can range from being born with extra fingers and/or toes, being born with a club foot, congenital hip dislocation and serious skull deformations in which a child is born without a part of the brain and/or skull that can be deadly.
Spina bifida is a disease that can occur in different forms, and it results from neural tube malformations. Spina bifida occurs when the neural tube does not develop properly and as a result portions of the spine and protective fluid protrude through openings that are left in the vertebrae. These portions of the spine can be visible on the child’s back, and while some cases of spina bifida can be corrected, others can be deadly.
Lifelong Medical Expenses From Drug Side Effects
Every birth defect from which a child suffers can lead to some form of medical expenses, but some birth defects that appear can lead to a lifetime of exorbitant medical expenses due to Depakote use as well as the stress that goes with knowing that a child is suffering and is in danger. Few people have the financial resources to handle what can easily lead to millions of dollars in medical expenses, which is why anyone who is taking Depakote and is either pregnant or about to become pregnant should seek the help of their doctor to form a plan to avoid these risks.
Investigations into the Side Effects of Depakote
There have been numerous studies in past years revealing the increased frequency of birth defects related to Depakote use during pregnancy. Research has suggested that infants whose mothers take Depakote during pregnancy have a higher risk of birth defects than infants who were not exposed to the drug. In fact, it has since been found that anticonvulsant drugs are one of the most common causes of harm to a fetus in utero. Futhermore, the FDA has recently released statements to patients and health professionals warning about Depakote birth defects including:
- Defects of the brain and spinal cord
- Craniofacial defects (abnormally formed face or skull)
- Cardiovascular malformations (abnormally formed heart or blood vessels)
Many of these cases of birth injuries have led to birth defect claims and Depakote class action lawsuits. It is the goal of these lawsuits to collect the compensation the affected parties deserve and to draw attention to the dangers of taking anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote during pregnancy for those who may be affected. Manufacturers of these drugs should be held accountable for the dangers of their medications and should be responsible for notifying patients and health officials of the appropriate warnings related to the use of Depakote. With the proper information, doctors can educated their patients on the uses and dangers of medications such as Depakote, allowing patients to make fully informed decisions regarding their health and the well-being of their unborn child.
Contact a Depakote Attorney
The birth defects that are believed to be linked to the use of Depakote during pregnancy can cause long-term difficulties for an affected child. Some of these injuries result in complications such as impeded cognitive and physical growth and permanent paralysis, which can require extensive and costly treatments and surgeries. Other defects can be fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered from side effects related to the use of Depakote, such as spina bifida, neural tube birth defects, or cleft palate, a Depakote attorney can help.
For a free attorney claim review, fill out the Depakote contact form. You should collect all information pertinent to your case prior to consulting a Depakote attorney, including all medical documentation, regarding your child’s condition, as well as any insurance information that may be considered important by the Depakote lawyer. If this information is not immediately available, you should still fill out the contact form so that your case can be reviewed by a Depakote lawsuit attorney.