In recent years, a number of independent medical research teams have determined that prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs branded Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote is linked to increased risk for birth defects. Here, I will discuss research from one such team led by G. Veiby of The University of Bergen, Norway, specifically, an article titled “Pregnancy, delivery, and outcome for the child in maternal epilepsy.” appearing in the September, 2009 edition of Epilepsia. The active chemical in these epilepsy drugs is valproate.
The stated purpose of this research was to “investigate pregnancy, delivery, and child outcome in an unselected population of women with both treated and untreated epilepsy.” Using data from “the compulsory Medical Birth Registry of Norway”, 2,861 children born to epileptic mothers “were compared to 369,267 nonepilepsy deliveries in the same period.”
Reviewing the mass of data collected, the team found that “The majority (66%, n = 1900) in the epilepsy group did not use antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy”; that only 961 epileptic mothers used AEDs while pregnant. Here is what Veiby (2009) found:
“Compared to nonepilepsy controls, AED-exposed infants were more often preterm … and more often had birth weight <2,500 g … head circumference <2.5 percentile … and low Apgar score”. To be clear, babies born under 2,500g are considered low birth weight, and Apgar score is a measure of a neonate’s development to life outside the womb wherein higher scores indicate better development.
“Increased risk for MCMs could be demonstrated only for exposure to valproate (5.6%, p = 0.005) and AED polytherapy (6.1%, p = 0.02).” (“MCM” means major congenital malformation, or “birth defect.)
Because Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depacon, Depakote, and Depakene, has failed time and again to adequately warn women of the increased risk for birth defects linked to prenatal exposure to valproate, 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 birth defect or otherwise adverse birth outcome, your family 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.
(855) 452 – 5528