Depakote Lawsuit

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Depakote is a widely prescribed drug that has developed broad usage for two distinct medical conditions. One is bipolar disorder; in this instance Depakote is prescribed to help control the manic condition that can develop as a symptom. The other use for Depakote that is common is for the control of seizures. Depakote is classed as an anticonvulsant, often prescribed for pediatric epilepsy.

Depakote Lawsuits over Birth Defects

A strong body of evidence has developed that suggests anticonvulsants can have serious impact on the children born to mothers who take these medications while pregnant. According to a study conducted among five Massachusetts hospitals, twenty percent of children born to women who had taken an anticonvulsant during pregnancy suffered birth defects. The research was based on examination of one thousand single births over a period of seven years.

Other alarming evidence emerging from this study indicated that mothers who had taken more than one antidepressant during pregnancy suffered a birth defect rate of 28%. The percentage of major birth defects in the overall control group was 8.5 percent.

Depakote was the most widely utilized anticonvulsant for many years. Because it has been used for bipolar disorder, it is also often prescribed along with antidepressants. The startling frequency of major birth defects reflected in this study has led to a steady stream of both single and class action lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturers of Depakote.

An article published in the medical journal Neurology in 2006 described research that showed mothers who took Depakote for seizure control during pregnancy were more likely to have babies with birth defects than women who took other anticonvulsive drugs. As more evidence has developed regarding the relationship between Depakote and birth defects, legal activity has focused primarily on this specific medication and less so on other drugs designed to prevent convulsions.

Examples of potential birth defects that result from the use of Depakote include:

  • Cleft palate
  • Hand deformations
  • Heart malformations
  • Spina Bifida
  • Skeletal defects
  • Neural tube malformations
  • Growth retardation

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14 Responses to “Depakote Lawsuit”

  1. Mary Jane Scouten Reply 11-Jun-2014 at 1:41 am

    My son is adopted he was a foster child, his mother is a paranoid Schizophrenic who was hospitalized involuntarily and medicated before they knew she was pregnant. He is now almost 20 and we are not hopeful that he will ever live on his own. However, since we chose to adopt him we have no standing to sue for what happened prior to his birth. I would caution those who did take depakote and their child did not have physical deformities but does have autism or other issue such as mental retardation etc. not to dismiss the idea that Depakote could be the culprit. We were told my son appeared to have a syndrome, but genetic testing did not find any abnormalities he did not have major physical deformities, however he has hypotonia, flat philtrum, a long upper lip with shallow philtrum, and micrognathia. coarse face, gum hypertrophy. In addition studies have shown a connection between Depakote and autism and anxiety. Here is one study
    Fetal valproate syndrome and autism:

    additional evidence of an association
    Gail Williams MD1,*, John King MD2, Michael Cunningham MD PhD3, Mark Stephan MD4, Bronwyn Kerr MBBS MD5 andJoseph H Hersh MD6
    Article first published online: 2 MAR 2007
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2001.tb00188.x

  2. I am a male father with a daughter that was born with a right forearm deformation which her top bone is growing at the right length but her bottom bone is growing slower causing her right arm to have a lump in it and shorter than her left arm. I the father was on deployed for a year when she was conceived. There is no deformities that run in my family anywhere or on grrr mother’s side. Could a males sperm cause this do to depakote. Thank you.

  3. I took Depakote for bipolar. Stopped as soon as I found out I was pregnant (8 weeks – confirmed by gynecologist). My baby has Spina Bifida. Hate that medication!

  4. I was on depokote just before pregnancy, and then put on Dilantin and phenobarbital. My first son had tetralogy of the fallot, a heart condition, and my second son was born tongue tied.

  5. I was treated for bipolar with Depakote for years until my kidneys started having issues with it. Bad stuff.

  6. April Marie Powell Reply 21-Jul-2013 at 7:28 am

    Here is a great idea! DON’T TAKE IT WHEN PREGANT! It is one of the best medications out there for Bipolar Disorder. I have seen the wonders of many people it has helped! Would they like to come out with something just as good? I Know lets take it away and see these poor people regress into mental pain and all those around them have to deal with it. That just sounds “great”….

  7. i was prescribe Depakote and my oldest has serious emotional problems is that a effect i have had seizures for a long time . also I beleve dilantin also afeected my other child.

  8. Danielle Gilbert Reply 18-Jul-2013 at 4:43 am

    what about others that took it who wasn’t even pregnant but still suffered most of the side effect when they hit 19 years old?

  9. I was on depakote when I was young in 2008 I had a daughter who was born with a hole in her heart. I know this is for women but what about us men? What about the side affects that causes other problems? Why is everything pertained to women only.

    • I am a father also and my daughter was born with one arm shorter than the other. There are no deformities on either side of family. I’m with you they need to check out if it can be carried in the males sperm. Hope are children get justice due to them as well as all the other children hurt by this drug

  10. Before I found out I was pregnant I was taking Depakote, and whenever I found out that I was pregnant my Neurologists wanted to put on a different medication that had just came out on the market which was called Tegratol and I still had light jerking from the seizure disorder as well and even after my baby was born we took her to an allergy specialist whenever she was 16 and the doctor told us that she was almost born with a cleft palate because hers is split down the middle. What can I do about this? Do I stand a chance at a good case against the Depakote Lawsuit myself?

  11. my daughter was prescribed depakote for seizure control during her adolescent years. during the time she took it, her emotional state was unpredictable, erratic, and volatile. her neurologist would not listen to our reports and concerns. she came off of it after 3 years. thank goodness. she now has extremely small teeth and an unusual shape to her jaw/mouth. i truly believe the depakote interrupted the growth and structure of her mouth/teeth/jaw. has anyone else noticed this?

  12. My 3 boys are on Depakote for seizures and have been for many years. Is this drug now considered a threat to them?

  13. i have been prescribed depakote for bipolar i didnt take it during my pregnancy all tho i was prescribed to do so what does this post mean for me!

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