Noble McIntyre on June 14, 2011
Depakote (Valproic Acid) is an anti-convulsant manufactured by Abbot Industries that is used to treat certain kinds of seizures. It is also used to treat mania in people with-bipolar disorder, prevent migraine headaches, outbursts of aggression in children with ADHD, chorea, and certain conditions that affect thinking, learning, and understanding. Depakote may be taken by a capsule, an extended-release tablet, a delayed-release tablet, a sprinkle capsule, and a liquid. Overall, Depakote has been successful in treating these conditions. Unfortunately, just like some other anticonvulsants such as Topamax and Dilantin, the drug has been linked to some potentially dangerous side effects.
Depakote has been linked to some very serious birth defects and injury to an unborn fetus when taken by the mother during pregnancy. These include cleft palate, hypoplastic right heart, undescended testes, dysplastic ribs, hypospadia, spina bifidia, and fetal death. In a study of more than 98,000 pregnancies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, the risk of spina bifida was increased more than 12 times for children of mothers on the drug. The children of these women has more than a doubled risk of an atrial septal defect and a five-fold risk of cleft palate. The risk of hypospadias increased more than five times with a mother’s use of the drug.
Another potential side effect is the risk of liver damage, particularly in young children. The risk of liver damage is much higher in children under 2, especially if the child is taking another antiepileptic drug, has a congenital metabolic disorder, a severe seizure disorder with mental retardation, or another brain disease.
Suicidal thoughts and behavior is another side effect potentially linked to Depakote. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has date that shows an association between many antiepileptic drugs and suicidal ideation and behavior, which is called suicidality. In the studies, 1 out of 1,000 people that took a placebo showed suicidality while approximately 3.5 out of 1,000 people who took an anti-epileptic drug showed suicidality.
Depakote lawsuits have already been filed against Abbot Industries, claiming that the company knew of the risks of the use of the specific ingredient valproic acid and its tendency to increase the risk of birth defects developed in children whose mothers took Depakote during the early months of pregnancy. Further, the lawsuits claim that Abbot Industries misled doctors and the public by downplaying these risks, which have led to the harm suffered by the children who have developed these birth defects.
McIntyre Law is currently helping families affected by Depakote birth defects and other serious side effects of using this medication. If your child has suffered from a dangerous Depakote side effect please contact us for a free no-obligation consultation through our website or by calling (877) 917-5250.