In 2000, G. Regesta et al. published a paper in Neurology titled “Old and new anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy,” a literature review aimed at evaluating the safety of antiepileptic drugs for a developing fetus.
Regesta et al. (2000) found that many different countries have approved the use of new anti-epileptic drugs with a doctor mandated prescription. Along with these new and approved drugs, there are others that are currently in various stages of development that seem to be very promising. Not all side-effects of current anti-epileptic drugs are known, but the medical world has a strong understanding of many of them.
Pregnancies with exposure to certain anti-epileptic drugs have an increased risk of birth defects and developmental disturbances. The drugs’ biochemical mechanism for causing fetal malformations is not completely percent clear due to the fact that many of the results we have are of pre-clinical toxicological studies – studies that evaluate the safety of AEDs in rats, not humans. Further, anti-epileptic drugs and their specific combinations are often not tested pre-clinically and are prescribed as add-on medication. These factors make it difficult to determine the metabolic interactions between the components which can produce unexpected teratogenic effects.
The most important question to overcome is knowing the right combination of drugs for a particular women with epilepsy and the association between single anti-epileptic drugs and specific malformations. Current research projects and reports have not studied a sufficient number of women with epilepsy undergoing monotherapy during pregnancy to reach an informed conclusion. And, there are still many questions connected to dose-effect relationships with teratogenic consequences with respect to AEDs.
Due to the fact that the manufacturer of Depacon, a widely-used AED containing sodium valproate, has failed to warn its users of the risk for birth defects associated with Depacon use, a number of Depacon lawsuits and AED birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.
If you or a loved one used Depacon or another AED during pregnancy and your child was born with birth defects, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for the injury caused to your family by no fault of your own.
For more information about Depacon or Depacon lawsuits, or for a free, no-obligation case consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our offices at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.
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