Today, I found another article by G. Veiby and a team from The University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway that demonstrates the danger posed to children exposed to valproate in utero. Valproate (sodium valproate, other formations) is the active chemical in a number of antiepileptic drugs such as Depacon, Depakote, and Depakene. The article I will summarize here appeared in the August, 2013 edition of Epilepsia and was titled “Exposure to antiepileptic drugs in utero and child development: a prospective population-based study.”.
Veiby et al. (2013) write “Antiepileptic drugs may cause congenital malformations. Less is known about the effect on development in infancy and childhood. The aim of this study was to examine whether exposure to antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy has an effect on early child development.”
Using the Medical Birth Registry (Norway) the team studied children born between 1999 and 2008 numbering 108,264 in all, of which 333 “were exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero.”
The team states “At 18 months, the exposed children had increased risk of abnormal scores for gross motor skills (7.1% vs. 2.9%; OR 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-3.7) and autistic traits (3.5% vs. 0.9%; OR 2.7, CI 1.1-6.7) compared to children of parents without epilepsy.” (Children born to mothers who used Depacon or another valproate drug were twice as likely to have abnormal scores for gross motor skills and 2.9 times as likely to be born with symptoms of autism 18 months.)
Veiby et al. (2013) continue: “At 36 months, the exposed children had increased risk of abnormal score for gross motor skills (7.5% vs. 3.3%; OR 2.2, CI 1.1-4.2), sentence skills (11.2% vs. 4.8%; OR 2.1, CI 1.2-3.6), and autistic traits (6.0% vs. 1.5%; OR 3.4, CI 1.6-7.0).” (Children exposed to Depakote were 3.4 times as likely to be born with traits of autism at 36 months of life.)
Further, “The drug-exposed children also had increased risk of congenital malformations (6.1% vs. 2.9%; OR 2.1, CI 1.4-3.4”. This means that children born to mothers who used drugs like Depacon and Depakote were more than twice as likely as non-exposed children to be born with birth defects.
Accordingly, the team concluded that “Exposure to antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy is associated with adverse development at 18 and 36 months of age, measured as low scores within key developmental domains rated by mothers.”
Since so many mothers have used Depacon and other drugs containing valproate in pregnancy unaware of the increased risk for birth defects and developmental disorders like autism, thousands of Depacon birth defect lawsuits have been filed in recent years.
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born autism or 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 compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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