When women become pregnant, they must make many difficult decisions. One decision that is often guided by medical providers is whether they should continue to take their prescription drug. For women with epilepsy or migraines, Depakote is a popular anticonvulsant medication. However, studies have shown that Depakote is linked to birth defects. Sadly, many doctors and patients were not given enough information by Depakote’s manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, regarding the risk of birth defects. If women who could get pregnant had all the information, they may have chosen a different medication.
Birth Defects Associated with Depakote
In 2006, 23 years after Depakote was released onto the market, the FDA added a black box label related to the reports of birth defects associated with its use. In 2009, the FDA released another warning related to birth defects. That warning specifically mentioned the potential neural tube defects, heart defects, and craniofacial birth defects.
The New England Journal of Medicine released a study in 2010 that was conducted by European researchers. This study showed an increase risk of birth defects in babies whose mothers took Depakote during the first three months of their pregnancy. Additionally, this study also revealed that pregnant women who take Depakote have 12 times the risk of having a baby with spina bifida than women who did not take Depakote during their pregnancy. Spina bifida is one of the most common neural tube defects.
Lower cognitive function in children was reported by the FDA in 2011. Babies born to mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy tended to have a lower IQ than babies born to mothers who did not take Depakote.
Abbott Laboratories’ History of Advertising Trouble
As mentioned earlier, had most women known about the increase in birth defects, they likely would have chosen a different medication. Abbott Laboratories has a history of advertising trouble that has caused them to pay settlements and fines.
Some of the most notable issues happened in May 2012. The State of Arkansas received a settlement of $3 million because Abbott Laboratories marketed Depakote as a drug used for Autism. Depakote hasn’t been approved by the FDA for treating symptoms of Autism. Abbott Laboratories also paid $1.5 billion to the Department of Justice to settle an investigation against them. They had marketed Depakote as a treatment for dementia to nursing homes. Depakote hasn’t been approved by the FDA to treat dementia.
Would You Benefit from a Depakote Lawsuit?
If you took Depakote during your pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect or suffers from lower cognitive function, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Depakote lawsuits are being filed by mothers to get the compensation they deserve and to help them care for the lifelong affects Depakote had on their child.
Call Goldwater Law Firm to schedule your free case evaluation. We help people get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries while providing compassionate guidance during difficult times. Don’t wait. Call now to find out if a Depakote lawsuit would benefit you and your child.