Does Depakote Cause Birth Defects?

Does Depakote Cause Birth Defects?

While Depakote is prescribed to help people with bipolar disorder, epilepsy and related disorders, the drug may cause complications if taken while pregnant. Depakote is a common drug, but some studies have linked it to birth defects if taken during the first trimester.

One of the better-known examples of this involved Susan DeMatteo who, with several other plaintiffs, took the makers of Depakote, Abbott Laboratories Inc., to court. They argued that one or more of the ingredients caused serious birth defects in their newborns and accused the manufacturers of negligence. Cases such as this are currently being litigated throughout the country; we will update our blog when more information is released.

Is Depakote a Dangerous Drug?     

Depakote is a category D medication because of the potential threat to children. The following is a list of birth defects linked to Depakote:

  • Cleft palate
  • Crainiosynostosis, which occurs when one side of the skull fuses too early in development, causing an abnormal head shape. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it is the second most common side effect.
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Dysplastic ribs (abnormally developed ribs)
  • Fetal death
  • Hypospadia (abnormal opening in the urethra)
  • Hypoplastic Right Heart (underdevelopment of the right side of the heart)
  • Spina Bifida, which occurs when a part of the spinal cord is exposed in the backbone. According to the same NEJM study, it is the most common side effect
  • Undescended testes

Please inform anyone you know who is expecting, or anyone you know who might have children someday, about the potential dangers of taking Depakote while pregnant.

If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child suffered from birth defects, speak to an attorney as soon as possible to find out more about your options.

Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez – Defective Drug Attorneys

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