Depakote and Pregnancy

Researchers have warned that the use of Depakote during pregnancy can increase the risk of major birth defects in newborns. The Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Neurology have advised women of childbearing age to avoid Depakote because of the increased birth defects risk that it poses when taken during pregnancy.

Concerns about the link between Depakote and birth defects arose in June 2010, when a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that taking Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy increased the risk of six types of birth defects. Pregnant women who took Depakote during the start of their pregnancy were between two and 12 times more likely to give birth to a child with spina bifida, atrial septal defects (ASD), cleft palate, hypospadias, craniosynostosis and polydactyly.

Even when not linked to these serious type of birth defects, Depakote can also increase the risk of other problems during pregnancy or with a child’s development. According to a 2004 study presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, 28% of children born to women taking Depakote during pregnancy suffered birth defects, walking delays, speech delays or death of the fetus.

Although the FDA and other health groups have warned about the side effects of Depakote when taken during pregnancy, the agency has not announced plans to issue a Depakote recall.

If you or a loved one took Depakote while pregnant and gave birth to a child suffering from birth defects, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form on this page.

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