Back in 1992, a French research team led by C. Dravet published a piece in Neurology titled “Epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs, and malformations in children of women with epilepsy: a French prospective cohort study.” that illuminated risks of prenatal exposure to anti-seizure drugs Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote (Abbott Laboratories). Since, the US FDA has warned of Depacon use during pregnancy and negative fetal outcomes.
Here is the abstract for that article:
“We conducted a prospective study of teratogenic effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnant women with epilepsy in southeast France, comparing malformation rates with those collected by a birth defects registry. We evaluated isolated microcephalies separately. Malformations were seen in 7% of infants of mothers with epilepsy (IME) and in 1.36% of the general population. No significant relationship was found between type and severity of epilepsy and occurrence of malformations or isolated microcephaly. Valproate and phenytoin were the most teratogenic (all malformations). None of the malformations observed in IME whose mothers received valproate, phenytoin, or phenobarbital was seen in IME not exposed to the respective AEDs. [emphasis added] Phenytoin plus phenobarbital was more teratogenic than phenobarbital alone. Benzodiazepines, prescribed only in combinations, had a borderline, nonspecific effect on microcephaly.”
To be clear, the active chemical in Depacon, Depakote, and Depakene is valproate. This team found that valproate was the most likely to cause birth defects, and that none of the birth defects seen in babies with prenatal valproate exposure were seen in babies without prenatal exposure to maternal antiepileptic drugs.
Because Abbott has failed to adequately warn women of the risk for birth defects, Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed in great number.
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Depacon birth defect lawyers at the information provided below. We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
(855) 452 – 5528