Depakote Spina Bifida

Depakote Spina Bifida

The use of Depakote, an anti-seizure medication, may cause adverse side effects and birth defects, including spina bifida. Depakote, or valporic acid, is also prescribed for bipolar disorder and migraines.

Children born to women taking this medication have a 1-2% chance of being born with spina bifida. In the population as a whole, only 1 in 1,000 infants will be born with this condition.

Depakote can be passed from mother to baby in utero or during breastfeeding. In fact, any medication containing valporic acid or valproate can be dangerous to pregnant women, although the mechanism behind higher rates of Depakote birth defects is unknown.

Depakote Side Effects

Spina bifida is a type of neural-tube birth defect that occurs when the embryonic sac surrounding the spinal cord and brain doesn’t develop properly. Babies with myelomeningocele, the most severe form, may have a protruding sac near their spine. This is dangerous because the spinal cord can be left exposed and unprotected. Other, less severe types of this birth defect are spina bifida occulta, the most common type, and meningocele, the rarest type.

Children with spina bifida may require surgery, although the disorder usually can’t be cured. Possible complications can include neurological problems, bowel control issues, learning disabilities and other impairments.

Depakote may also cause other birth defects and side effects besides Depakote spina bifida. A study of 98,000 pregnancies in the Netherlands found babies whose mothers took Depakote had twelve times the risk of developing Depakote birth defects compared to their peers. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2010.

Depakote Spina Bifida Recommendations

Today, the American Academy of Neurology recommends that Depakote not be used during pregnancy. This advice is based on the increased risk Depakote birth effects like spina bifida, atrial septal defects (a type of heart problem) and cleft palate, among others. Women who take this medication are often counseled to consider birth control because of these serious Depakote side effects.

Women who experienced Depakote side effects and families of children suffering from Depakote spina bifida may be entitled to compensation. For a free and confidential review of your case, contact Chaffin Luhana today by calling 1-888-480-1123