Fetal Death and Depakote

Fetal Death Depakote birth defects may be from use during pregnancy and side effect lawsuits are forming.  Speak with a Depakote lawyer to discuss compensation possibilities through joing a class action or filing an individual lawsuit.

An emerging body of research has identified Depakote use during pregnancy as a potential risk factor for the development of major side effects, including fetal death among babies exposed to the drug in utero. Depakote belongs to a class of drugs called anticonvulsants, which were originally developed as a treatment for epilepsy. In recent years however, Depakote (valproic acid) has been approved for additional uses, including the prevention of migraine headaches and treatment for seizures and bipolar disorder. Depakote is currently manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, and functions by interfering with the firing of certain impulses in the brain which cause seizures.

Since Depakote was introduced to the U.S. market in 1983, it has become one of the most popular anticonvulsant drugs available. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated that the drug may no longer be safe in the treatment of pregnant women or women of childbearing age. In fact, the FDA recently issued a safety announcement advising physicians to avoid prescribing Depakote to pregnant women, especially for conditions not typically associated with permanent injury or death. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child suffered from fetal death, contact a Depakote attorney to discuss your legal options.

Fetal Death Described

A baby is considered a fetus from the end of the third month of pregnancy until birth. Fetal death, therefore, is defined as the death of a fetus before separation from the mother regardless of the duration of pregnancy. Fetal death is indicated by the fact that, after such separation, the fetus does not breathe or exhibit any evidence of life, including definite movement of voluntary muscles, beating of the heart, or pulsation of the umbilical cord.

Depakote and Side Effect Studies

In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a significant study concerning the potential connection between anticonvulsants like Depakote and birth defects. According to researchers, 20.6% of infants whose mothers took one anticonvulsant like Depakote while pregnant were born with birth defects, compared to 28% of infants whose mothers took two or more anticonvulsants, and 8.5% of infants whose mothers took no anticonvulsants during pregnancy. In 2009, the FDA issued an official safety announcement warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of birth defects among children exposed to Depakote during pregnancy. Among these potential Depakote birth defects were craniofacial defects, heart malformations and neural tube birth defects. This FDA warning was based on information provided by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, which indicated that the rate of major malformations was four times higher in babies born to women who took Depakote while pregnant, compared to babies born to women who took a different anticonvulsant drug during pregnancy.

Depakote and Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Depakote as a pregnancy category D medication, which means there is positive human evidence illustrating the drug's potential to cause severe fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. Birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate have been widely reported in children of mothers who have taken depakote.  If you are currently taking Depakote and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician to discuss alternative treatment options. It may be dangerous to abruptly discontinue use of a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with your doctor's help you may be able to find a safer way to treat your condition.

Depakote Attorneys for Fetal Death Side Effects

Fetal death is an extremely devastating event for parents to go through. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child did not survive pregnancy, contact a Depakote attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Depakote lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories. The main goal of Depakote lawsuits and Depakote class action lawsuits is to seek financial compensation for the injuries, associated expenses, and pain and suffering potentially linked to Depakote use in pregnancy. Drug companies like Abbott are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any injuries sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies intentionally withhold dangerous drug information in an attempt to avoid negative consequences, such as a drug recall. This deceptive practice exposes consumers to serious injury and possibly even death, without their knowledge. By hiring an experienced Depakote lawyer to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

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