Titled “Malformation risks of antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy: a prospective study from the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register.”, an article by J. Morrow and a team from Belfast (UK) published in the February, 2006 edition of Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry aimed to “assess the relative risk of major congenital malformation (MCM) from in utero exposure to antiepileptic drug (AEDs).” In recent years, many teams have found that prenatal exposure to AEDs containing sodium valproate such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote, is linked to increased risk for heart defects, neurological birth defects, and developmental disorders such as Autism.
For this study, “data collected by the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register were analyzed”, and in total, 3,607 mother-child pairs were studied. Results showed that “The overall MCM rate for all AED exposed cases was 4.2% … The MCM rate was higher for polytherapy (6.0%) … than for monotherapy (3.7%) … The MCM rate for women with epilepsy who had not taken AEDs during pregnancy (n = 239) was 3.5% (1.8% to 6.8%).”
Importantly, the team found that “The MCM rate was greater for pregnancies exposed only to valproate (6.2% (95% CI, 4.6% to 8.2%) than only to carbamazepine (2.2% (1.4% to 3.4%) (OR = 2.78 (p<0.001); adjusted OR = 2.97 (p<0.001))” and “Polytherapy combinations containing valproate carried a higher risk of MCM than combinations not containing valproate (OR = 2.49 (1.31 to 4.70)).” This means that the risk for birth defects with valproate exposure was higher than for other drugs.
The team concluding that “Polytherapy regimens containing valproate had significantly more MCMs than those not containing valproate,” this article can be used in a Depacon birth defect lawsuit to demonstrate to court that the manufacturers of these drugs knew, or should have known, the risks associated with their product but failed to act.
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, 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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