Birth defects linked to use of Depakote while pregnant
Any medication taken during pregnancy can potentially harm the fetus. But the rate of birth defects associated with the drug Depakote has turned out to be alarmingly high, even in comparison to similar anti-seizure medications.
Depakote birth defects claims
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Many women who take anti-seizure medications for epilepsy must keep taking them during pregnancy, because of the risks to the fetus risks and to the mother if seizures are not prevented or controlled. While anti-seizure medications are known to increase the risk of birth defects, Depakote greatly magnifies these risks. Among pregnant women on Depakote, 28 percent of infants died, were born with congenital defects or have shown development delays. Among pregnant women on other anti-seizure drugs (Dilantin, Tegretol, Lamictal), the rates of these adverse outcomes were no higher than 10 percent.
Among birth defects and other adverse effects associated with Depakote:
- Fetal death or neonatal death
- Spina bifida
- Neural tube defects
- Development delays (retardation, learning disabilities)
- Cleft palate or other deformities
While Depakote was designed as an epilepsy medication, it has also been prescribed for “off label” uses such as bipolar disorder or migraines, including pregnant women with those medical issues.
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