Recently, research was published evaluating the “Efficacy of medical care of epileptic pregnant women based on the rate of congenital abnormalities in their offspring.” The intention of this study was to check the effectiveness of the medical care provided for epileptic pregnant women on the basis of decreasing the chance they would pass on congenital abnormalities to their children. Researchers F. Bánhidy et al. compared 95 pregnant women who eventually had children with congenital abnormalities (case group), with 90 pregnant women who gave birth to children without any congenital abnormalities (control group).
This study was compared to cases in the Hungarian case-control surveillance system of congenital abnormalities, 1980-1996. The Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities was established in 1980. Twenty-five congenital abnormality groups were evaluated. The study collected data for over 16 years, investigated 22,843 cases, 38,151 population controls, and 834 patient controls.
From their analysis, it was determined that pregnant women with epilepsy that were treated with several antiepileptic drugs have a greater chance having children with birth defects, such as Cleft lip with or without cleft palate, cleft palate, cardiovascular CAs, oesophageal atresia/stenosis, and hypospadias. Sadly, this is just one of many studies showing the link between antiepileptic drugs and birth defects.
The leading theory to explain this increased rate of birth defects is the introduction of polytherapy to the mother. Guberman A. from the Division of Neurology, Ottawa Hospital, writes that “In general, monotherapy is better because polytherapy associates with a higher risk of CAs (Källen 1986, Meador et al. 2008) as in our study.”
However, new epilepsy drugs and treatment have been gaining ground in the fight to better control epilepsy. However the drugs interaction is different with everyone. Consulting your doctor and understanding the assumed risks that go along with a specific drug can better prepare you for controlling your epilepsy.
Due to the fact that the manufacturers of several antiepileptic drugs, particularly the manufacturer of Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote (three dangerous AEDs containing sodium valproate), have time and again failed to adequately warn users of the risk for birth defects, a number of Depacon / Depakene / Depakote Lawsuits are currently being filed.
If you or a loved one used Depacon (sodium valproate) during pregnancy and your child was born with birth defects, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for injury sustained to your family through no fault of your own.
For more information on Depacon or for a free, no-obligation case consultation, feel free to call or e-mail our team of Depacon Lawyers at any time. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to bring you the justice your family deserves.