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New Study Reveals Depakote Link to Serious Birth Defects

April 14, 2011

Depakote (generic “divalproex sodium”) is an anticonvulsant medication that people take when they have seizures, migraines and bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, this once promising drug has been linked to serious side effects including liver failure and pancreatitis as well as serious birth defects including spina bifida.

We have received calls from patients who took Depakote long ago because sometimes the side effects of the drug do not appear until long after the drug has been taken. Abbott Laboratories, which manufactures Depakote, is now facing a growing number of lawsuits related to these serious side effects.

In June of 2010 a study was published by the New England Journal of Medicine which found that mothers who took valproic acid (Depakote) during their first trimester of pregnancy were 12.7 times more likely to have babies born with spina bifida, 2.5 times more likely to have a heart defect, 5 times more likely to have a cleft palate and nearly 7 times more likely to have craniosynostosis, which is premature fusion of the skull during fetal development that restricts the skull and brain growth.

Depakote lawsuits can be complicated by the fact that the adverse side effects of the drug may not show up until long after a patient has been treated with the drug. There are legal time deadlines or statutes of limitations that must be met. If you fail to file a claim within the applicable time deadline, your right to recover can be lost forever. Frequently drug injury claims such as Depakote lawsuits may still be filed because the statute of limitations starts running from when the injury occurred, not from when the medication was taken. However, it is important that you contact an experienced Depakote side effect attorney immediately because issues related to the statute of limitations can be complicated, particularly in drug cases with delayed side effects. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law we represent those injured by dangerous drugs throughout Georgia.

The American Academy of Neurology has indicated that pregnant women should avoid Depakote. However, Depakote continues to be the second-most popular epilepsy medication. The organization is recommending that since many pregnancies are unplanned, every woman of childbearing age should be counseled as to the risks and ramifications of taking Depakote during pregnancy. Some of the most serious pregnancy-related side effects of Depakote are spina bifida, deformation of the spine and neural tube defects.

If you have experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hallucinations, fever, skin rash, bruising, internal bleeding, gland swelling, or hearing damage, then you should consult with a physician immediately. If you or someone you love has taken Depakote and has suffered serious side effects including impaired liver function, pancreatitis or serious birth defects during pregnancy, Montlick and Associates offers a free case evaluation. We can advise you regarding your legal rights to compensation by Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Depakote. Our experienced dangerous drug attorneys will use their best efforts to obtain the compensation that you deserve.

Our Georgia Depakote side effect claims lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.