The medication Depakote is commonly prescribed to patients to treat various neurological disorders. However, Depakote has been linked to serious side effects, including birth defects in newborns whose mothers took the drug while pregnant.
If you or someone you love was prescribed Depakote and suffered adverse side effects, contact Roden Law’s class action attorneys to find out if you may be entitled to compensation through a Depakote lawsuit. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation with one of our accomplished personal injury attorneys to discuss your claim and determine if Depakote affected your health or pregnancy.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims who have filed defective drug claims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. We will commit our skills and resources to represent your claim at no upfront cost. We only charge our clients for our services if we obtain compensation for their case.
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What is Depakote?
Depakote is an anticonvulsant medication manufactured by AbbVie, formerly known as Abbott Laboratories. The drug was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 to treat epilepsy and was later approved to treat migraines and to reduce the severity of the manic phase of bipolar disorder.
The drug contains the active ingredient divalproex sodium, which is a combination of sodium valproate and valproic acid. Combined, these ingredients create an effective treatment for various neurological conditions that affect the brain.
Depakote works by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain to help calm and relax nerves. This helps to stabilize patients’ moods by reducing erratic behaviors resulting from faster than normal electrical impulses in the brain that overstimulate nerves. Additionally, increasing the brain’s neurotransmitters can prevent abnormal brain signals that lead to seizures.
However, patients who filed Depakote lawsuits have reported suffering several serious side effects that include serious injuries, permanent disability and death.
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Depakote Linked to Birth Defects
Several studies have linked Depakote to increased risks of birth defects in developing fetuses.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that women who take Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a newborn with birth defects than pregnant women who took other antiepileptic drugs.
By analyzing 98,000 pregnancies, researchers found the risk of a serious spinal defect known as spina bifida increased more than 12 times for children of mothers who took Depakote while pregnant.
The risk of developing five other birth defects also increased between two and seven times. These include:
- Atrial septal defect (a hole in the heart)
- Hypospadias (an abnormality in the urethra’s opening)
- Polydactyly (extra fingers or toes)
- Cleft palate
FDA Warnings about Depakote
In 2006, the FDA required a black-box warning be added to Depakote’s packaging to warn pregnant women of the increased risk that the drug could harm their developing fetus.
The move came around the same time as a 2006 study published in the journal Neurology, which found that approximately 20 percent of children born to mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy suffered serious malfunctions.
Three years later, in December 2009, the FDA issued a drug safety alert informing patients and the medical community about the increased risks of neural tube birth defects in fetuses still developing in the womb.
Following a study released in 2011, the FDA issued another safety announcement that children born to mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy have and increased risk of lower cognitive test scores than children exposed to other anti-seizure drugs during pregnancy.
The FDA released a third safety communication in 2013 that warned that Depakote should not be taken by pregnant patients for the prevention of migraines. The agency released the warning after the final results of the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study showed that children exposed to valproate-based products while developing in their mother’s womb had decreased IQ’s at age six compared to children exposed to other anti-elliptic drugs.
The FDA also required stronger warnings be added to Depakote’s label and changed valproate’s pregnancy category from “D” to “X,” which signifies the risk of use in pregnant women significantly outweighs the benefits of the drug .
If you used Depakote during pregnancy and gave birth to a child who suffers from a birth defect, you may be entitled to file a Depakote lawsuit. Do not hesitate to contact one of our reputable attorneys to schedule a free, no obligation review of your claim.
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Depakote Linked to Liver Damage
In addition to birth defects, several patients have filed Depakote lawsuits after developing hepatotoxicity, a serious and sometimes fatal condition that causes inflammation of the liver.
Often, the symptoms of hepatotoxicity vary in severity and are not always immediately apparent in each patient. Generally, patients who develop hepatotoxicity suffer symptoms that include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness, confusion or fainting
- Pain in the upper stomach
- Bloody or discolored stool or urine
- Difficulty eating
- Loss of appetite
- Severe fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Unusual swelling in the hands or feet
- Sudden and unexplained weight gain
One of the primary indicators of hepatotoxicity is often jaundice, a condition that causes the skin, whites of the eyes, and the moist areas around the eyes and mouth to turn yellow.
If you or someone you love has been prescribed Depakote and suffered liver damage or hepatotoxicity, immediately seek medical attention to undergo treatment. Then, contact one of our compassionate attorneys to discuss your claim and find out if you may be entitled to file a Depakote lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.
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Compensation for a Depakote Lawsuit
Many patients claim AbbVie failed to adequately warn users of the dangers the drug. Because of this, many patients have filed Depakote lawsuits to recover compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical assistive equipment
- Cost of a permanent caregiver
- Loss of companionship
If you or someone you love has suffered severe side effects after taking Depakote, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Do not hesitate to contact us if you believe you may be entitled to pursue compensation through a Depakote lawsuit.
Call 1-844-RESULTS to discuss your claim with an attorney.
Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Unfortunately, for many patients who used Depakote, the FDA’s warnings came too late and they suffered life-threatening medical conditions and irreversible fetal damage.
At Roden Law, we strive to help victims of negligent pharmaceutical corporations hold these companies accountable for the pain and suffering they cause. If you believe you or your child has developed an adverse medical condition because of Depakote, you may be entitled to file a Depakote lawsuit.
We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to help you determine if you can obtain the justice and compensation you need to recover from your injuries and financial losses. All of our services are provided at no upfront cost and we only charge our clients if we obtain the results they deserve.