Additional Anticonvulsant Birth Defect Risks Identified in New Study

More Fetal Risks Linked to Depakote

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Additional Anticonvulsant Birth Defect Risks Identified in New Study

New research has identified more fetal risks associated with the use of anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote during pregnancy.

According to the findings of a new study, the use of anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote, Tegretol and Lamictal during pregnancy may increase the risk of more birth defects than previously believed. Researchers involved in the study, which was presented last month at the World Congress of Neurology, indicated that pregnancy risks associated with the epilepsy medications may increase the risk of a child being born prematurely, at a low birth weight or with an abnormally small head. These malformations are in addition to the severe birth defects previously linked to anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote, which include neural tube defects, spina bifida, heart defects and more. If your child was born with a congenital malformation, and you believe the anticonvulsant Depakote to be the cause, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with an attorney in your area who has experience handling product liability claims.

Risk of Birth Defects with Depakote Use

In the epilepsy drug study, researchers examined data on approximately one million pregnancies in Denmark from 1997 to 2008, and found that preterm births, low birth weight and small head circumference were far more common among women who took anticonvulsant drugs while pregnant than among those that didn’t take the medications. This report comes on the heels of a number of other studies that have analyzed the possible pregnancy risks associated with Depakote, which has been linked to birth defects, developmental delays, urinary tract problems and other life-altering issues among children exposed to the drug in pregnancy.

Autism, Developmental Delays Linked to Anticonvulsants

In July, a study conducted by researchers in Norway found that women who took anticonvulsant drugs were more likely to give birth to children with developmental delays, in addition to gross motor control problems, autism, and speech and birth defects. In April, Danish researchers published a study indicating that children born to women who took Depakote while pregnant were three times more likely to suffer from an autism spectrum disorder, compared to children who were not exposed to the medication. Earlier this year, British researchers released a report with similar findings, identifying a risk of developmental disorders associated with Depakote.

Contact a Qualified Attorney in Your Area

Depakote was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1978 as a treatment for certain types of seizures associated with epilepsy. In 2006, the FDA added a “black box” warning to the Depakote label, notifying consumers that children exposed to the anticonvulsant drug in utero may face an increased risk of serious birth defects. The warning came after a study found that 20% of pregnant women who gave birth while taking Depakote had a child with a birth defect or malformation. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child was born with a major birth defect or injury, contact a knowledgeable lawyer in your area to explore your possible compensation options. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company, in order to pursue financial compensation for your child’s injuries and medical bills.

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