Speak with a Lawyer if You Took Depakote While Pregnant

July 9th, 2016


Did you take the drug Depakote during your pregnancy?  If you did, and your child was born with a birth defect, you could be entitled to financial compensation. While there are some standard side effects with this drug, like fever, rash, weakness, dizziness, and hair loss, the warnings were not clear regarding how risky this drug was for pregnant women.  As a result, many were prescribed it and children have been born with birth defects as a result.

Some of the common challenges pregnant women and their children have had, include:

  • Craniofacial defects, including cleft palate and skull malformations
  • Neural tube defects
  • Cardiovascular malformations and heart defects
  • Spina bifida

Understanding the Risks Associated with Taking Depakote

According to the FDA, the risk to pregnant women and their baby are the highest during the first trimester since many women do not realize that they are pregnant.  If you were taking this drug and stopped once you realized you were pregnant, but your baby was still born with a physical challenge, you could have a case. Stopping the drug part-way through the pregnancy has not been proven to stop the defect from forming.

Were You Warned of the Risk?

The FDA has recommended that doctors prescribe a different medication to women of childbearing years due to the incredibly high risk associated with taking it.  If you were prescribed this drug but not warned about the danger of becoming pregnant while on it, your doctor could also share some liability for failing to inform you.

Depakote Was Not Initially Approved for Treating Depression

The spike in these cases is largely due to the additional way that Depakote is being used.  It was approved in 1978 to treat epilepsy but it was not until recently that the FDA gave clearance for it to be used to treat both migraines and depression.  This has led to a significant expansion in how the drug is used by women in general.  Since migraine headaches are typically not a concern for OBGYNs, the link between the medication and potential pregnancy risks are often not made in time to prevent a birth defect. This is why even if you were under the care of an OB, they may not have made the connection.

Speak with an Attorney

At the Garmon Law Firm, we understand how traumatic it can be to have a child with a birth defect. We also understand how much money it can cost to secure the proper medical care for them.  We can work to ensure that the right parties are held accountable and that you receive any financial compensation that is due to you.  To discuss your case in detail, call and schedule a consultation.


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