In April, 2002, a team of medical researchers from Aberdeen (UK) led by J.C. Dean published a study titled “Long term health and neurodevelopment in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs before birth.” in Journal of Medical Genetics investigating the link between neonatal and later childhood morbidity “in children exposed to antiepileptic drugs [AEDs] in utero.” To-date, many studies have demonstrated that prenatal exposure to AEDs like Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote is linked to an increased risk for birth defects.
The team states “Mothers taking antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy between 1976 and 2000 were ascertained from hospital obstetric records and 149 (58% of those eligible) took part. They had 293 children whose health and neurodevelopment were assessed.”
After standard statistical analyses, “Neonatal withdrawal was seen in 20% of those exposed to antiepileptic drugs. Congenital malformations occurred in 14% of exposed pregnancies, compared with 5% of non-exposed sibs, and developmental delay in 24% of exposed children, compared with 11% of non-exposed sibs.” This shows a dramatically increased risk for birth defects, developmental delay, and neonatal withdrawal for children exposed to AEDs in utero.
Dean et al. (2002) also write that “After excluding cases with a family history of developmental delay, 19% of exposed children and 3% of non-exposed sibs had developmental delay, 31% of exposed children had either major malformations or developmental delay, 52% of exposed children had facial dysmorphism compared with 25% of those not exposed, 31% of exposed children had childhood medical problems (13% of non-exposed sibs), and 20% had behaviour disorders (5% of non-exposed).” (emphasis added)
Concluding that “Prenatal antiepileptic drug exposure in the setting of maternal epilepsy is associated with developmental delay and later childhood morbidity in addition to congenital malformation”, this study can be used as evidence in a Depacon birth defect lawsuit to demonstrate that AED manufacturers knew, or should have known that their products are linked to birth defects. Because these manufacturers failed to notify women of these risks, if you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital malformation or had perinatal complications, 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 experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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