Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome and Depakote

Hypoplastice Right Heart Syndrome birth defects possibly from side effects of Depakote use in pregnancy may deserve compensation from a Depakote lawsuit and class actions.

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of Depakote, as recent studies have indicated a potential correlation between the anticonvulsant drug and life-threatening birth defects like hypoplastic right heart syndrome. Depakote has been available in the U.S. since 1983 and has become one of the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsant drugs on the market. Depakote (valproic acid) functions by inhibiting the firing of certain impulses in the brain which are responsible for causing seizures, and the medication is approved for the treatment of epilepsy, seizures, migraine headaches and bipolar disorder. Depakote is currently manufactured by pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories.

Regardless of the popularity of Depakote, an emerging body of research has identified the drug as a potential risk factor for the development of serious Depakote side effects. In fact, studies have suggested that infants whose mothers take Depakote while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of being born with major birth defects like hypoplastic right heart syndrome. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child was born with a side effect or birth defect, contact a 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.

Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome Symptoms

Children suffering from the heart defect called hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS) are born with an underdeveloped right ventricle, which prevents the right side of the heart from functioning properly. Because the heart's muscle structure is poor, the malformed ventricle cannot contain the proper amount of blood pumped from the right atrium. Further problems are encountered as the heart attempts to pump blood to the pulmonary valve for transfer to the lungs. Common symptoms of hypoplastic right heart syndrome include cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin) and a heart murmur.

HRHS Treatment and Prognosis

Hypoplastic right heart syndrome is an extremely serious condition requiring immediate treatment, as the heart will begin to fail shortly after birth. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to completely correct the underdeveloped ventricle associated with hypoplastic right heart syndrome. A child may, however, undergo certain surgical procedures which can increase life expectancy by fifteen to twenty years.

Depakote Side Effect Studies

In 2006, the journal Neurology published a study in which researchers sought to examine the adverse effects of fetal exposure to Depakote compared to other anticonvulsant drugs. According to the report, 20.3% of children exposed to Depakote during pregnancy were born with severe birth defects, compared to 10.7% of children exposed to Dilantin, 8.2% of children exposed to Tegretol, and 1.0% of children exposed to Lamictal. Among the birth defects potentially linked to these anticonvulsant drugs were hypoplastic right heart syndrome, hand deformations, atrial septal defects, and cleft palate. In 2009, the FDA issued a safety announcement warning patients and physicians about the increased risk of major birth defects in infants whose mothers take Depakote during pregnancy. This FDA warning was based on information provided by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, which indicated that infants born to women who took Depakote while pregnant were four times more likely to develop major malformations, compared to infants born to women who took a different anticonvulsant drug.

Depakote and 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 severe fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Depakote and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider immediately. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug, but with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Depakote for treating your medical condition.

Depakote Attorneys for Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome

Hypoplastic right heart syndrome is an extremely dangerous birth defect which can lead to a premature death for affected children. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect or birth defect like HRHS, contact a qualified 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, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Drug companies like Abbott are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. By hiring an experienced Depakote lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

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