Depakote lawsuits have been filed, alleging that the drug was used off-label and that it causes serious birth defects if taken by pregnant women. If your child suffered birth defects after you took Depakote while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation. We are currently working with experienced Depakote lawyers around the country who can file a lawsuit on your behalf. There are no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award. Contact us 24/7 toll free or online for a free (no obligation) evaluation.
Have You Had A Child Born With A Birth Defect
While On Depakote During Pregnancy?
Read Below Why You May Have a Claim.
What is Depakote?
Depakote (valproic acid) is made by Abbot Laboratories and is used to treat a variety of conditions including bipolar disorder, depression, and epilepsy. Although it is mostly prescribed as an anti-seizure medication, it is also used to treat chronic migraines. The drug works by controlling chemicals in the brain and helping the brain function better. Depakote has been approved for use by the FDA since 1983, and has been available in generic forms since 2008.
The experienced Depakote lawyers we are working with can give you more information regarding the drug and your potential claim.
Why Are Depakote Lawsuits Being Filed?
Mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy may face an increased risk of giving birth to a child with birth defects. In fact, the FDA has included this drug in Pregnancy Category X, which means that medical studies have shown that it is linked to higher risks than other similar medications. Because of this higher risk, the FDA has concluded that it is now illegal to prescribe Depakote to pregnant woman.
In 2006 the FDA required Abbot Laboratories to include a warning on Depakote’s label, which gives information about birth defects. In 2009 the FDA issued another warning regarding neural tube birth defects. The most recent FDA warning was in 2011 when the agency warned that use of this drug during pregnancy may impair the child’s cognitive development.
The recent news of Depakote birth defects has caused many people to consider their legal options. In fact, in May 2013, a legal journal reported that at least 36 Depakote birth defect lawsuits had been filed against Abbott. These suits allege that Depakote and drugs like it were not properly attached with warning labels stating the seriousness of the potential birth defects that could be caused.
These lawsuits have been filed after Abbot settled with the U.S. Justice Department for $1.6 Billion dollars in 2012. The U.S. Justice Department alleged that Abbott was marketing the drug for off-label uses after a four-year investigation and multiple whistleblower lawsuits by former sales representatives. It is also alleged that Abbot paid doctors and pharmacists illegal kickbacks for promoting off-label uses.
What Birth Defects Are Caused by Depakote?
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect linked to Depakote which occurs when the bones of the skull fuse together incorrectly, leading to an abnormally shaped head. The shape of the skull affects the growth of the brain, resulting in poor vision, difficulty sleeping and eating, and substantially lowered IQ. Neural tube defects, like spina bifida, have also been linked to Depakote. They occur when the spinal column of the fetus doesn’t develop correctly in the womb, and common indications of spina bifida are nerve damage and partial paralysis in the lower body.
Other birth defects that may be linked to Depakote:
- Craniofacial Defects
- Polydactyl (extra fingers and toes)
- Hypospadias (abnormal location of the urethra)
- Cleft lip or palate
- Down’s syndrome
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
- Septal heart defects
If You Had A Child That Has Any Of The Mentioned Birth Defects While You Were On Depakote During Pregnancy You May Have A Depakote Lawsuit Claim. Call 800-992-6878 Today!
Are There Studies Linking Depakote to Birth Defects?
Since the FDA’s first warnings, a growing number of medical studies have addressed Depakote birth defects.
- In April 2009 a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that taking the drug while pregnant impaired cognitive development of the child. On average, children who had been exposed to Depakote in the womb scored 9 points lower on an IQ test than children whose mothers took different epilepsy drugs during pregnancy.
- In June 2010 a study published in the same journal found that when women used drugs like Depakote during pregnancy the risk of spina bifida increased significantly. This same study found that it can also increase the risk of other birth defects including cleft palate and deformation of the skull.
- In 2013 the FDA addressed these studies by issuing a warning to pregnant women to not take Depakote for migraines because it has shown a direct link to lower IQ in children.
Why Contact Us?
If you or a loved has suffered a Depakote birth defect, then you may have a potential lawsuit. Our law firm is working with Depakote lawyers who have experience in handling these types of cases. The lawyers we work with can give you the legal advice that you need and there are no legal fees until you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free (no obligation) legal evaluation.