Over the past ten years or so, dozens of studies have been published linking prenatal exposure to the antiepileptic drugs Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote (Abbott Laboratories, Inc.) with birth defects. Here, I will summarize one such study, published by R. Banach and a team from McMaster University in Ontario Canada. This study was titled “Long-term developmental outcome of children of women with epilepsy, unexposed or exposed prenatally to antiepileptic drugs: a meta-analysis of cohort studies.” and appeared in the January, 2010 edition of Drug Safety.
Aiming to “estimate intellectual development of children prenatally exposed or unexposed to AEDs,” the team conducted a literature search” to “identify all original cohort studies that investigated cognitive functioning after in utero exposure to AEDs.” (“AEDs” stands for antiepileptic drugs.)
In all, “Eight studies (three for valproic acid and five for carbamazepine) evaluated IQ as a measure of cognitive development,” though one was dropped because it appeared in two publications. The team states: “In total, the seven selected studies included 67 children exposed in utero to valproic acid and 151 exposed to carbamazepine, and 494 unexposed controls born to healthy women or to women with untreated epilepsy.”
Finding that “The mean full-scale IQ (FSIQ), verbal IQ (VIQ) and performance IQ (PIQ) scores in children exposed to valproic acid in utero were 83.9 (95% CI 64.2, 103.6), 93.7 (95% CI 72.6, 114.7) and 88.3 (95% CI 69.9, 106.9), respectively” while “The mean FSIQ, VIQ and PIQ scores in the control group were 102 (95% CI 90, 116), 101 (95% CI 87, 114) and 99 (95% CI 90, 117), respectively” it was determined that prenatal exposure to drugs containing valproate hinders cognitive development.
Accordingly, it was concluded that “Exposure to valproic acid in pregnancy is associated with significantly reduced intelligence in children whose mothers were treated for epilepsy. … Clinicians should inform families of the potential cognitive adverse effects of valproic acid.” (emphasis added)
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital malformation or faced adverse birth outcomes, 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 compassion, experience, and resources required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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