Depacon is a generic intravenous version of the anti-convulsant drug Depakote, which is used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, seizures and migraine headaches. Unfortunately, studies have shown that women who take Depacon during pregnancy have a high risk of giving birth to children with potentially life-threatening birth defects including cleft lip/palate, syndactyly, and aortic stenosis. If you or someone you know gave birth to a child with serious congenital defects after taking Depacon while pregnant, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Depacon Birth Defects Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child that has been diagnosed with a birth defect related to Depacon, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
Which birth defects have been linked to Depacon?
Mounting research and numerous case studies have indicated that women who are treated with Depacon during pregnancy may increase the risk of their child developing one or more of the following birth defects in utero:
- Neural tube birth defects
- Craniofacial defects
- Cleft lip
- Cleft Palate
- Spina bifida
- Aortic stenosis
- Cardiovascular malformations
- Cognitive impairment
- Valproate syndrome
- Limb and skeletal defects
- Growth retardation
- Hand deformations
- Fetal death
Depacon & Spina Bifida
A 2001 study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine (NEJM) collected data from eight independent studies in which women were treated with Depacon during pregnancy. The cumulative results of the research suggested that babies whose mothers took anticonvulsant drugs like Depacon during pregnancy had a higher frequency of side effects than infants who were not exposed to the drug. Specifically, the NEJM study found that infants who were exposed to Depacon in the womb were more than 12 times as likely to develop spina bifida than babies born to mothers who took no such medications during pregnancy.
Spina bifida is a catastrophic congenital birth defect in which the backbone and spinal canal fail to close properly before birth. Signs and symptoms of Depacon-induced spina bifida may include:
- a dimple or hairy patch over the defect
- fluid-filled swelling on the baby’s spine
- tissues and nerves from the spinal cord exposed on the baby’s back
- fluid on the brain
Unfortunately, severe cases of spina bifida almost always affect the function of the limbs and organs in the lower part of the body. The child’s ability to walk depends on what part of the spine is affected and how severe the defect is. In most cases, the lower (lumbar) spine is affected. The higher on the spine the defect occurs, the more severe and widespread the problems.
Depacon FDA Warning
In December 2009, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release warning healthcare professionals and patients about an increased risk of neural tube defects and other severe congenital abnormalities including craniofacial defects, cardiovascular malformations, limb, skeletal and cognitive defects associated with Depacon. According to the warning, Depacon affects the fetus during the first trimester or pregnancy, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant.
Manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories, Depacon (valproate sodium injection) is an intravenous alternative to oral formulations of Depakote. Depacon is FDA-approved to treat a variety of conditions including:
- epileptic seizures
- bipolar disorders
- migraine headaches
Depacon is different from Depakote in that it is administered intravenously directly into the veins, and is given to patients who are unable to tolerate oral versions of valproic acid. Unfortunately, no matter how the drug is administered, Depacon can still lead to catastrophic birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy.
Before Taking Depacon
When deciding whether to use Depacon, the risks and benefits should be weighed carefully by both doctor and patient. According to Drugs.com, the following factors should be considered:
- Allergies – Notify your doctor if you have ever had any unusual allergic reactions to valproic sodium, and if you have any other types of sensitive allergies.
- Pediatric – Current studies have not demonstrated specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Depacon in children. However, be advised: the safety and efficacy of Depacon has not been established in children under the age of two.
- Geriatric – Elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted side effects (e.g., tremors or unusual drowsiness), which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving Depacon injections.
Baby Born with Depacon Birth Defects? Contact Us Today.
If you or someone you love has given birth to a child with any of the congenital defects listed in this article after taking Depacon in pregnancy, you may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. Our Depacon lawyers are highly experienced and aggressive in handling Depacon birth defects lawsuits. Fill out the confidential contact form below or call (866) 588-0600 to contact our offices today.
Is there a time limit in filing a Depacon birth defects lawsuit?
Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their Depacon birth defects lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential Depacon birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.
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