A study titled “Fetal effects of anticonvulsant polytherapies: different risks from different drug combinations.” by L.B. Holmes and a team from MassGeneral Hospital for Children (Boston, MA) published in the October, 2011 edition of Archives of Neurology further explores the link between in utero exposure to epilepsy drugs containing valproate (Depacon and other drugs by Abbott Laboratories, Inc.) and heart defects, neurological birth defects, autism, and other poor birth outcomes.
Studying “women enrolled during pregnancy in the North American AED (Antiepileptic Drug) Pregnancy Registry between February 1, 1997, and June 1, 2010” the team included 6,857 women using AEDs in total.
Results showed that “The risk of malformations was 1.9% among infants exposed to lamotrigine as monotherapy (n = 1441). Among the infants exposed to lamotrigine as polytherapy (n = 505), the risks were 9.1% for lamotrigine plus valproate sodium (OR, 5.0; 95% CI, 1.5-14.0) and 2.9% for lamotrigine plus any other AEDs (1.5; 0.7-3.0).” This means that the risk for birth defects was higher if the fetus was also exposed to valproate.
The team also found that “The risk of malformations was 2.9% for the infants exposed to carbamazepine monotherapy (n = 1012). For the infants exposed to carbamazepine as polytherapy (n = 365), the risks were 15.4% for carbamazepine plus valproate (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 2.0-16.5) and 2.5% for carbamazepine plus any other AEDs (0.8; 0.3-1.9),” meaning that valproate raised the risk for birth defects 7-fold over other drugs used in polytherapy.
As such, the team concluded that “The risk of malformations among infants exposed to lamotrigine and carbamazepine as polytherapy was higher than the corresponding monotherapies only when the polytherapy includes valproate.”
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation, your family 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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