In the April, 2013 edition of JAMA, an article titled “Prenatal valproate exposure and risk of autism spectrum disorders and childhood autism.” from a Danish team led by J. Christensen evaluated the risks of prenatal exposure to the antiepileptic Depacon. Because Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of this drug, failed time and again to warn of the risk for birth defects, autism, and other negative consequences of Depacon exposure, class-action Depacon lawsuits around the world
For clarity, the active chemical in Depacon (also Depakene and Depakote) is valproate.
The team states “Valproate is used for the treatment of epilepsy and other neuropsychological disorders and may be the only treatment option for women of childbearing potential. However, prenatal exposure to valproate may increase the risk of autism.”
Studying “all children born alive in Denmark from 1996 to 2006,” Christensen et al. (2013) “analyzed the risks associated with all autism spectrum disorders as well as childhood autism.”
“Of 655,615 children born from 1996 through 2006, 5437 were identified with autism spectrum disorder, including 2067 with childhood autism. … The estimated absolute risk after 14 years of follow-up was 1.53% … for autism spectrum disorder and 0.48% … for childhood autism. Overall, the 508 children exposed to valproate had an absolute risk of 4.42% … for autism spectrum disorder (adjusted HR, 2.9 …) and an absolute risk of 2.50% … for childhood autism (adjusted HR, 5.2)”
This means that if a child was exposed to Depacon / Depakene / Depakote, the risk for autism was increased about 3- to 5-fold.
This study concluded “Maternal use of valproate during pregnancy was associated with a significantly increased risk of autism spectrum disorder and childhood autism in the offspring, even after adjusting for maternal epilepsy.” (Maternal disease did not cause birth defects, the drugs did.)
Since so many women have used Depacon during pregnancy unaware of the risks for birth defects, thousands of Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene while pregnant 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 compassion, experience, and resources required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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