In September, 2003, a team from St. Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne, Australia) published a piece in Journal of Clinical Neuroscience titled “The Australian registry of anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy: experience after 30 months.” That article, by F.J. Vajda et al., further explored the risks of prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs containing valproate, such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote by Abbott Laboratories. To-date, dozens of research teams have linked valproate to birth defects, prompting sharp warnings from the United States FDA.
Vajda states “Most women with epilepsy need to take antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnancy to prevent the potentially harmful effects of seizures. Retrospective studies have demonstrated an increased chance of having a child with a birth defect (BD) in women with epilepsy taking AEDs. It is uncertain how much of this risk is directly caused by the AEDs and whether certain drugs or combinations are associated with a greater risk.”
This study was an “An Australia-wide, prospective, voluntary, telephone-interview based, observational register” in which “Three groups of pregnant women were enrolled: those with epilepsy taking AEDs, those with epilepsy not taking AEDs, and those taking AEDs for a non-epileptic indication.”
In all 334 women were studied from all Australian states and territories. “Two hundred and ninety two pregnancies had been completed, of which 256 (88%) resulted in a healthy live birth, 19 (6.5%) a live birth with a birth defect, four an induced abortion because of a detected malformation on ultrasound, one premature labour with a stillbirth and 12 (4%) spontaneous abortions.”
The team found that “the incidence of birth defects in relation to specific AEDs was: valproate (16.7%)”, far higher than the background rate for congenital malformations.
Because the manufacturer of these drugs has failed time and again to warn women of these and other serious risks, thousands of Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.
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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