Growth Retardation and Depakote

Growth Retardation and Depakote exposure in pregnancy have been possibly linked and class action lawsuits are forming.  Speak with a Depakote attorney to explore your Depakote lawsuit options.

According to Depakote side effect studies, infants born to women who take Depakote while pregnant may have an increased risk of developing one or more serious side effects, including birth defects like growth retardation. Depakote is an anticonvulsant drug manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, and has become one of the most commonly prescribed drugs of its kind on the market. Depakote (valproic acid) works by interfering with the firing of certain impulses in the brain, thereby preventing seizure-related episodes. Depakote has been on the market since 1983 and has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy, migraine headaches, seizures and bipolar disorder. Despite the popularity of Depakote, recent research has suggested that the anticonvulsant may no longer be safe in treating pregnant women or women of childbearing age. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child was born with a side effect or birth defect like growth retardation, contact a qualified Depakote attorney to discuss your legal options. Your child may be entitled to lifetime care, which you can acquire by filing a Depakote lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories.

Growth Retardation Symptoms

Growth retardation is characterized by the failure of a fetus to grow and develop properly in utero. Children suffering from growth retardation are determined to be at or below the tenth percentile in weight for their gestational age, which means they are smaller than ninety percent of other fetuses their same gestational age. The two types of growth retardation are called symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical growth retardation occurs when the fetus exhibits poor growth of the head, abdomen and long bones. Asymmetrical growth retardation occurs when the head and long bones develop normally, but the abdomen does not.

Growth Retardation Treatment and Complications

Because growth retardation increases the risk of a child dying inside the womb before birth, doctors typically monitor at-risk babies with pregnancy ultrasounds to measure the baby's growth, blood flow, movements, and the fluid around the baby. Growth retardation is especially dangerous because it can cause long-term complications for an affected child, including inhibited neurological development, cognitive impairment, and an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Depakote and Side Effect Studies

In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers sought to examine the potential link between anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote and birth defects among children. According to the report, 20.6% of infants whose mothers took one anticonvulsant drug during pregnancy were born with major birth defects, compared to 28% of infants whose mothers took two or more anticonvulsants, and 8.5% of infants whose mothers received no anticonvulsant treatment while pregnant. Among the birth defect observed in the study were growth retardation, hypoplasia of the midface and hypoplasia of the fingers.

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. The notice included potential Depakote birth defects like neural tube defects, craniofacial malformations and heart defects. This FDA warning was based on information provided by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, which indicated that infants exposed to Depakote in utero were four times more likely to develop major malformations compared to infants exposed to a different anticonvulsant drug in utero.

Depakote Use in Pregnancy

The FDA has labeled Depakote a pregnancy category D medication, which means there is positive human evidence of the drug's potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Depakote and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician immediately. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug, 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 alternative to Depakote for treating your medical condition.

Depakote Attorneys for Growth Retardation Side Effects

Growth retardation is an extremely dangerous birth defect, as it can increase a child's risk of dying before birth or developing life-threatening complications. If you or a loved one has suffered from growth retardation and you believe Depakote to be the cause, 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 your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. By hiring an experienced Depakote lawyer to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and bring public attention to the potentially dangerous nature of Depakote, possibly preventing further injury and death in the future.

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