An article appearing in the May, 2010 edition of Epilepsia titled “The teratogenic risk of antiepileptic drug polytherapy.” by F.J. Vajda and a team from Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Melbourne (Australia) further explores the connection between antiepileptic drugs containing sodium valproate such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote and increased risk for congenital malformations.
For this study the team performed a “Statistical analysis of malformation rate and antiepileptic drug exposure data from the Australian Register of Antiepileptic Drugs in Pregnancy, and from [medical] literature.”
Results showed that “The calculated relative risk (RR) value for AED polytherapy compared with monotherapy was below 1.0 in only 3 of 14 literature publications. In the register, at 1 year postnatally there were fetal malformations in 5.32% of 282 AED polytherapy pregnancies, and in 7.84% of 791 AED monotherapy pregnancies, an RR of 0.68 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39-1.17). For pregnancies exposed to valproate, the RR of fetal malformation (0.39, 95% CI 0.20-0.89) was lower in polytherapy (7.26%) than in monotherapy (17.9%); the difference did not depend on valproate dosage. The RR values for fetal malformation were not significantly different for AED polytherapy and monotherapy when valproate was not involved. Logistic regression suggested that coadministration of lamotrigine may have reduced the malformation risk from valproate.”
What all this means is that exposure to drugs containing valproate increased risk for birth defects compared to other antiepileptic treatments. As such, the team concluded that patients should add the drug lamotrigine and not use only valproate during pregnancy.
Because the manufacturer of these drugs, Abbott Laboratories, has failed time and again to warn women of these and other serious risks linked to prenatal valproate exposure, Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.
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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