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Jared Fink is the firm’s pharmacovigilance specialist. He is a graduate of the College of Wooster and has a strong background in scientific research and writing. His full biography is here.

In January of last year, a team of researchers led by E. Campbell published an article in Epilepsia titled “Recurrence risk of congenital malformations in infants exposed to antiepileptic drugs in utero.”, marking yet another piece of professional research illustrating the risks of prenatal exposure to drugs containing sodium valproate such as Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote.

This team from Belfast (United Kingdom) states plainly at the outset of their abstract that “Use of antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy is associated with congenital malformations and developmental delay. Previous studies have suggested that women who have had one child with a congenital malformation are at increased risk of having other children with malformations”, and as such “sought to confirm the magnitude of risk in a large cohort drawn from the United Kingdom Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register.”

Campbell explains that “Outcome data were available for 1,534 pregnancies born to 719 mothers. For women whose first child had a congenital malformation there was a 16.8% risk of having another child with a congenital malformation, compared with 9.8% for women whose first child did not have a malformation (relative risk 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-2.96).”

If women had two children with birth defects, the risk for bearing a third was 50%.

“There was a trend toward a higher risk for recurrent malformations in pregnancies exposed to valproate (21.9%, relative risk 1.47, 95% CI 0.68-3.20) and topiramate (50%, relative risk 4.50, 95% CI 0.97-20.82), but not for other drugs such as carbamazepine and lamotrigine.”  This means that if a baby was exposed to Depacon, Depakene, or Depakote at normal maternal doses in pregnancy, the risk for birth defects was 47% than for neonates who faced no such exposure.

Due to the fact that Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depacon, Depakote, and Depakene, has failed time and again to adequately warn women of the increased risk for birth defects associated with these drugs, thousands of Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or developmental disorder, 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, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5528

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Depacon Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Depacon.

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.

(855) 452 – 5528

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Depacon Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Depacon.

In July, 2011, Lancet Neurology published an article titled “Dose-dependent risk of malformations with antiepileptic drugs: an analysis of data from the EURAP epilepsy and pregnancy registry.” that was written by a team from Stockholm led by T. Tomson.  This study is yet another example of peer-reviewed research demonstrating that serious risks are posed to children whose mothers used antiepileptic drugs containing valproate (Depakote, Depakene, Depacon, etc.) during pregnancy.

Tomson et al. open by writing simply “Prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs is associated with a greater risk of major congenital malformations, but there is inadequate information on the comparative teratogenicity of individual antiepileptic drugs and the association with dose.”  As such, the team “aimed to establish the risks of major congenital malformations after monotherapy exposure to four major antiepileptic drugs at different doses.”  That is, the team wanted to find the risk for birth defects linked to drugs individually.

Using data from the EURAP epilepsy and pregnancy registry (“an observational cohort study representing a collaboration of physicians from 42 countries”), Tomson “assessed rates of major congenital malformations in 1402 pregnancies exposed to carbamazepine, 1280 on lamotrigine, 1010 on valproic acid, and 217 on phenobarbital.”  (Valproic acid is another form of valproate, identical in biochemical effect.)

The team found “An increase in malformation rates with increasing dose at the time of conception was recorded for all drugs. Multivariable analysis including ten covariates in addition to treatment with antiepileptic drugs showed that the risk of malformations was greater with a parental history of major congenital malformations (odds ratio 4·4, 95% CI 2·06-9·23).”

“Compared with lamotrigine monotherapy at doses less than 300 mg per day, risks of malformation were significantly higher with valproic acid and phenobarbital at all investigated doses, and with carbamazepine at doses greater than 400 mg per day.”

Because thousands of women around the world have used Depacon, Depakene, and Depakote while pregnant unaware of the increased risk for birth defects associated therein, Depacon birth defect lawsuits have been filed in great number.

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, compassion, and resources required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5528

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Depacon Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Depacon.

Today, I came across an article published in a 2011 edition of Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health by G. Latendresse and a team of researchers from The University of Utah College of Nursing (Salt Lake City) titled “Maternal corticotropin-releasing hormone and the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors independently predict the occurrence of preterm birth.”.  There, the connection between prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and poor birth outcomes was further explored.  To-date, many articles have found that neurological birth defects, heart defects, and adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth have been linked to gestational exposure to SSRIs.

Latendresse et al. (2011) write that “Although the purpose of this small, preliminary study was to evaluate the association between chronic maternal stress and PTB, this report focuses on the unexpected finding of the association between maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and PTB.”  (“PTB” stands for preterm birth.)  In all, 100 pregnant women were studied.

The team found that “Pregnant women who used SSRIs to treat depression and/or anxiety were nearly 12 times more likely to give birth before term when compared with women who did not use these medications.” (emphasis added)

Due to the fact that the manufacturers of many SSRI drugs have failed time and again to warn women of these and other serious risks related to SSRI exposure, SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or who had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

Titled “Newborn neurobehavioral patterns are differentially related to prenatal maternal major depressive disorder and serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment.”, an article by A.L. Salisbury and a team from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, appearing in the December, 2011 edition of Depression and Anxiety, further explores the link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and adverse neurobehavioral outcomes.  To-date, a number of studies have linked SSRI exposure to increased risk for heart defects and neurological birth defects as well.

Salisbury et al. (2011) write “Prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) exposure has been related to adverse newborn neurobehavioral outcomes; however, these effects have not been compared to those that may arise from prenatal exposure to maternal major depressive disorder (MDD) without SRI treatment. This study examined potential effects of MDD with and without SRI treatment on newborn neurobehavior.”  For clarity, “SRI” is equivalent to “SSR” for our purposes.

“This was a prospective, naturalistic study”, and results showed that “Full-term infants exposed to MDD + SRIs had a lower [gestational age] than [control subjects] or MDD-exposed infants and, controlling for GA, had lower quality of movement and more central nervous system stress signs. In contrast, MDD-exposed infants had the highest quality of movement scores while having lower attention scores than CON and MDD + SRI-exposed infants.”

This means that maternal SSRI use, not maternal depression, was correlated with lower gestational age.

Since so many women around the world have used SSRIs during pregnancy unaware of these and other serious risks, thousands of SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs while pregnancy and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or who suffered perinatal complications, your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI birth defect lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, experience, and researchers required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

In May, 2013, N.K. de Vries published an article titled “Early neurological outcome of young infants exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy: results from the observational SMOK study.” in the medical journal PLoS One.  This Dutch research team explored poor neonatal outcomes linked to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs).

de Vries et al. write “Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) during pregnancy is common while the effect on the infant’s neurological outcome is unknown. Our objective was to determine the effects of prenatal SSRI-exposure on the infants’ neurological functioning, adjusted for maternal mental health.”

Studying “63 SSRI-exposed infants (SSRI group) and 44 non-exposed infants (non-SSRI group)”, the team states that “main outcome measures during the first week after birth and at three to four months were the quality of the infants’ general movements (GMs) according to Prechtl and a detailed motor optimality score.”

Results showed “All infants were born around term. During the first week, abnormal GMs occurred more frequently in the SSRI group than in the non-SSRI group (59% versus 33%) and the median MOS was lower (13 versus 18). The OR for abnormal GMs in the SSRI versus the non-SSRI group was 3.0 (95% CI, 1.3 to 6.9) and increased after adjustment for confounders. At three to four months, more SSRI-exposed infants had monotonous movements (48% versus 20%) with lower median MOSs (26 versus 28). The OR for monotonous movements was 3.5 (95% CI, 1.5 to 8.6) and increased after adjusting for confounders.”

As such, the team concluded that “Prenatal exposure to SSRI had an adverse effect on early neurological functioning as reflected by GM quality, irrespective of maternal depression and anxiety, and other confounders. Physicians should take this into account in consultation with parents.”

Because of the publication of papers like this one, SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.  If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or who had perinatal complications, your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

Published in the July, 2011 edition of Pediatric Research, a study by D. Rurak and a team from The University of British Columbia (Vancouver) titled “Third trimester fetal heart rate and Doppler middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity characteristics during prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure.” examined the relationship between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and poor birth outcomes.

This team writes, “Prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) exposure increases the risk for adverse neonatal behavioral outcomes; although it is unknown whether altered brain function is present before birth” and clarifies that they “investigated fetal vascular and heart rate changes at 36-wk gestation in SSRI-treated women with mood disorders (n = 29) [exposed (EXP)] and controls (n = 45) [non-EXP (NEXP)]. Fetal middle cerebral artery (MCA) flow parameters and heart rate characteristics were obtained during pre-SSRI dose morning and postdose afternoon sessions.”

Results showed that “The fHR short- and long-term variations, accelerations, and duration of high variability episodes remained lower and did not change across the day in EXP, whereas all increased significantly in NEXP. In both groups, MCA flow velocity and volume flow increased significantly across the day. EXP MCA pulsatility index was significantly lower, as was MCA cross-sectional area. EXP cord Hb and hematocrit were significantly increased. Prenatal SSRI exposure reduced fetal MCA flow resistance and fHR variability, before and after an SSRI dose, controlling for maternal mood. These changes and the SSRI-related increased red cell indices suggest possible fetal hypoxia.”

Since many women use SSRIs while pregnant unaware of potentially serious risks posed to the fetus, thousands of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed around the world.  And, if you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a birth defect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

From The Netherlands, a team of medical researchers led by E.J. Mulder published a study titled “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect neurobehavioral development in the human fetus.” in the September, 2011 edition of Neuropsychopharmacology examining the relationship between exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and adverse birth outcomes.

The team states “The aim of this prospective study was to investigate whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) utilized by pregnant women influence fetal neurobehavioral development. In this observational study we investigated developmental milestones of fetal behavior during the pregnancy of women with psychiatric disorders who took SSRIs throughout gestation (medicated group; n=96) or who had discontinued medication early in gestation or before conception (unmedicated group; n=37).”  The birth outcomes for these women were compared to those for a control group of 130 healthy women.

Results showed that “Fetuses exposed to standard or high SSRI dosages compared with control, unmedicated, or low-medicated fetuses showed significantly increased motor activity at the beginning (T1) and end of the second trimester (T2). They particularly exhibited disrupted emergence of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM; quiet) sleep during the third trimester, characterized by continual bodily activity and, thus, poor inhibitory motor control during this sleep state near term (T3).”

Furthermore, the team found that “The SSRI effects on the fetus were dose related, but independent of SSRI type. The results demonstrate changes in fetal neurobehavioral development associated with standard and high SSRI dosages that are observable throughout gestation.”

Since so many women have used drugs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft unaware of the risk for adverse birth outcomes, SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a birth defect, your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

An article titled “SSRI antidepressants: altered psychomotor development following exposure in utero?” that appeared in the February, 2013 edition of Prescrire International examines additional risks of prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs).  To be clear, a number of other studies have linked adverse birth outcomes linked to SSRI exposure in years passed.

This team states “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) are sometimes prescribed to pregnant women. The potential consequences for the unborn child are gradually becoming clearer. In a case-control study of 298 children with autism and 1507 controls, 6.7% of mothers of autistic children had been prescribed an antidepressant during the year before delivery, compared to 3.3% of control mothers. The antidepressant was usually an SSRI. A dozen other small epidemiological studies of neurological development in children exposed to antidepressants in utero have provided mixed results. Two of these studies suggested a risk of psychomotor retardation. In practice, SSRI antidepressants should only be considered for pregnant women when non-drug measures fail and when symptoms are sufficiently serious to warrant drug therapy.” (emphasis added)

Citing a link to autism and poor neurodevelopment, this article can be used as evidence in a SSRI birth defect lawsuit to illustrate the the manufacturers of SSRIs knew, or should have known the risks associated with their products.  Due to the fact that these manufacturers failed to warn expecting mothers of these risks, SSRI lawsuits have been filed all over the world.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with autism, a congenital malformation, or who had poor neonatal development, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.

Last summer, a team of researchers from University of British Columbia (Vancouver) led by G.E. Hanley published a study titled “Infant developmental outcomes following prenatal exposure to antidepressants, and maternal depressed mood and positive affect.” in Early Human Development.  This study examined the relationship between poor early childhood development and gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs).

Hanley: “Prenatal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants has been associated with delays in early developmental milestones, but there remains uncertainty. Even among a subset of studies examining the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID), some have reported normal mental and psychomotor development while others have suggested a delay in motor development. Given an increasing number of infants exposed to SRIs, furthering our understanding of the possible developmental implications of SRI exposure in utero is critical.”

This study reviewed the developmental status of 10-month-old children who were exposed to maternal SSRI drugs in pregnancy: “We examined 31 mother-child pairs exposed prenatally to SRIs and 52 mother-child pairs who were nonexposed.”

Results showed that “Infants exposed prenatally to SRIs scored significantly lower than nonexposed infants on gross motor (P=0.03), social-emotional (P=0.04) and adaptive behavior (P=0.05) subscales of the BSID-III, controlling for pre- and postnatal maternal depressed mood, smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy.”  This means that SSRI exposure, not maternal depression, was linked to poor neonatal outcomes.

Due to the fact that every year, thousands of expecting mothers use SSRIs unaware of these risks, SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI 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.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.