Millions of people have suffered from different seizure disorders that have affected the brain over time. For centuries, those who suffered from conditions that included epilepsy, migraine headaches and bipolar disorder had little choice but to endure a lifetime of struggle. Fortunately, medications eventually began to appear that were intended to help with these conditions, and one such medication, known as Depakote, was approved for use in its original form in 1983. Unfortunately allegations of Depakote side effects began to surface after some time on the market, prompting the need for the public to learn more.
Below you’ll find information regarding the intended use of Depakote, a brief history of the drug, information regarding the potential dangers of using Depakote while pregnant, the potential legal implications and lawsuits involved when someone suffers from harmful Depakote side effects and finally information regarding how you should proceed if you or someone you love has suffered as a result of using this medication and you need the help of a Depakote lawyer.
Depakote Drug Uses
Depakote is a medication comprised of sodium valproate and valproic acid that is used to treat several different disorders that stem from problems in the brain. Specifically, the following conditions have been effectively managed and treated by Depakote:
- Migraine headaches
- Manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder
Depakote is not a cure for any of these conditions, but rather it helps to minimize the number of seizures and episodes that occur as symptoms of these problems. Generally, the episodes that tend to arise with these conditions do so because on a cellular level, electromagnetic messages that are sent inside the brain move too quickly to process. Depakote’s active ingredients help to slow this transmission process and thereby reduce the number of episodes that patients suffer.
A Brief History of Depakote
As stated above, Depakote was originally approved by the FDA for use in the United States in 1983. Its manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, has since enjoyed billions of dollars in revenue that have been generated by this medication, and estimates indicate that millions of people in the United States have used Depakote at any given time.
Since its original approval in 1983, Depakote has been approved in several different forms on a seemingly regular basis, and over the decades it has become what many believe to be the leading medication for the disorders it is intended to treat. Depakote has also expanded its market reach to the rest of the world and continues to dominate the market that demands help for seizure disorders.
Possible Dangers of Using Depakote While Pregnant
As Depakote continued to be used on such a wide basis, reports of alleged Depakote side effects eventually began to surface. While there were allegations of relatively minor Depakote side effects, the most serious assertions in regards to this medication involved pregnant women who were using the drug to control their seizure disorders. Specifically, these alleged Depakote side effects involved the infliction of sometimes-grave harm in the form of Depakote birth defects to the unborn children that were being carried by the pregnant women who were using Depakote.
A few examples of these alleged Depakote side effects in unborn children of pregnant women who were using this medication include:
- Cleft palate
- Growth retardation
- Hand deformations
- Heart malformations
- Neural tube malformation and defects
- Skeletal birth defects
- Spina bifida
- Fetal Valproate Syndrome
- Fetal death
There are several specific birth defects that can result in serious injuries and/or a lifetime of exorbitant medical expenses. Most of the alleged Depakote side effects that are mentioned above require some sort of surgery and ongoing physical therapy in order to attempt to correct or minimize, and any serious Depakote birth defect that’s suffered by a child is also an emotionally traumatic experience for the parents involved.
Potential Lawsuits for Depakote Side Effects
When a prescription drug is alleged to have caused severe birth defects or any other serious injury, the process of holding the manufacturer of that medication accountable can be a challenge, especially for those who do not possess a legal background that includes successful claims along those lines. Defective drug attorneys seek to reach out to victims of Depakote side effects and guide them in the process of potentially filing a Depakote lawsuit for birth injuries the anticonvulsant drug may have caused. If enough Depakote birth injury claims come forward, it is possible that a Depakote class action lawsuit would form to effectively manage the number of Depakote legal claims.
In regards to alleged Depakote side effects, the family of a child that was allegedly harmed by the drug would need to successfully prove that:
- The mother used Depakote while pregnant;
- Depakote led to a problem with the mother while pregnant;
- The problem that Depakote caused led to the birth defect suffered by the child; and
- The child and family have suffered damages because of the presence of this alleged Depakote side effect.
Proving these claims requires skill, experience, knowledge of the law and the ability to manage a case against what would certainly be a highly skilled team of defense attorneys. If your child has suffered as a result of using this medication while pregnant, seek the help of experienced Depakote attorneys by completing the form below to get the process of protecting your legal rights started.
Contact a Depakote Attorney
If your child has suffered because of alleged Depakote side effects because the pregnant mother has used this medication that is intended to provide help with seizure disorders that include epilepsy, migraine headaches and the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, you need to seek the help of Depakote lawyers if these birth defects include cleft palate, growth retardation, hand deformations, heart malformations, neural tube defects, skeletal birth defects, spina bifida and fetal death, as proving these claims against Abbott Laboratories can be difficult.