In May, 2013, a Finnish team of medical researchers led by M. Aratma published a study in Drug Safety titled “Effects of maternal epilepsy and antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy on perinatal health in offspring: nationwide, retrospective cohort study in Finland.”. This piece further elucidated the link between prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote and serious birth defects.
Noting that “Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) pass through the placenta and may affect neonatal outcome”, the team performed a “register-based study … based on information on all pregnancies ending in birth in Finland between 1996 and 2008” and included 751,139 singleton births in all.
After statistical analysis, Aratma found that “4,867 (0.6 %) infants (including live births and stillbirths) were exposed to maternal epilepsy. More than half of the offspring of WWE were exposed to AED (n = 3,067, 63.0 %) during pregnancy or 1 month prior to and/or during pregnancy, and mostly in monotherapy (n = 2,566, 83.7 %).”
And, “A slightly increased risk for most of the perinatal health outcomes was found in offspring of WWE in relation to offspring of WOE (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.19, 95 % CI 1.04-1.36 for low 5-min Apgar score to aOR 2.10, 95 % CI 1.57-2.81 for needing respiratory care). The risks increased by the number of different maternal AEDs used. In relation to offspring of WWE with no AED exposure (n = 1,800), a slightly increased risk for treatment in a neonatal care unit (aOR 1.48, 95 % CI 1.21-1.82) was observed for offspring of WWE on AED therapy.”
This means that “Offspring of WWE have a slightly increased risk for adverse pregnancy-related and perinatal health outcomes when compared with WOE, and AED exposure further increases the risk.”
Due to the fact that the manufacturers of many AEDs have failed to warn women of these risks linked to AED use in pregnancy, Depakote birth defect lawsuits have been filed in great number in recent years.
If you or a loved one used AEDs like Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, 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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