What is Depakote?
Depakote, also known as valproate semisodium or divalproex sodium, is manufactured by Abbot Laboratories. Depakote is used to primarily treat severe episodes related to bipolar disorder and combat epilepsy. However, many dangerous side effects have been tied to use of Depakote, with the most health risks involving an unborn fetus.
Women who are pregnant, or may become pregnant, should not take Depakote. Doing so puts the unborn fetus at harm. Some of these potentially dangerous side effects are spina bifida, hand malformations, cleft palate, hypo plastic right heart, undescended testes, abnormally formed ribs, and others.
The most serious of these potential side effects is spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect that causes the spine and backbone to fail to develop properly. A study recently conducted suggests that mothers who take Depakote, and other drugs of the same type, are almost 13 times more likely to have a baby with spina bifida than mothers who are not taking the drug.
In another study that was conducted over a seven year period, in the Boston area, reviewed more than 1000 births and determined that mothers who had taken Depakote, and other like drugs, had babies that suffered from serious birth defects about 20% of the time. Mothers who had taken a combination of Depakote and other like drugs had about a 24% chance of having a child with a serious birth defect. These rates were associated with mothers who had taken the proper dosages. Mothers who were underdosed suffered birth defects at only a 9% rate.
Medical professionals have long been concerned with the potential risks with Depakote and other drugs of its kind. In 2001, The New England Journal of Medicine stated frequent malformations, growth retardation and other birth defects are significantly increased when fetuses are exposed to anticonvulsant (Depakote) in the womb.
Depakote came at the top of the list of dangerous drugs, even when compared with drugs of the same kind. One study, The Neurodevelopment Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs study, stated that taking Depakote caused a significant rise in serious malformations and fetal death.
These studies also were cause for concern for women with bipolar disorder. Depakote, and many other similar drugs, is also used to be a mood stabilizer to fight bipolar disorder, so patients using the drug for bipolar disorder should also be aware of the potential health risks and consult a doctor immediately if they believe they could be at risk.
Due to the serious side effects associated with the drug many consumers were exposed to risks they were unaware of.
At Sheff Law, we are the Massachusetts law firm with the resources, experience, and national reputation to investigate injuries resulting from exposure to Depakote. Patients across Massachusetts and America have realized some of the potential harmful consequences of using Depakote. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of Depakote, contact an attorney at Sheff Law today by filling out a FREE consultation form, or call at (888) 423-4477 or 617-227-7000.
February 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Blog