According to PRWeb (2/18/13), one of the most recent lawsuits was filed January 25, 2013, at Illinois Southern District Court (Case # 3:2013cv00082). While not identified in the release, the plaintiff is a man from South Carolina and alleges his birth defects were the result of the Depakote his mother ingested while pregnant with him.
Depakote, also known as valproate, is used extensively to help treat and manage epileptic seizures. The drug is also prescribed to treat manic depressive disorder, including bipolar disorder, a condition that seems to be growing in prevalence with each passing decade.
However, Depakote is also prescribed to treat problematic migraine headaches, a condition also generating increased prevalence and affecting a greater number of individuals from both genders and most demographics across North America.
The problem with women of child-bearing age is that Depakote has been associated with Depakote birth defects.
The plaintiff in the Depakote lawsuit referenced above claims his mother ingested valproate for the first months of her pregnancy. The plaintiff was subsequently born with Spina Bifida, and blames his birth defect on the medication.
The latest study with regard to lower IQ test scores was published last month in The Lancet Neurology (1/23/13). The study found that pregnant women who ingest Depakote while they are with child carry a higher risk that their offspring will test with lower IQ scores than children who were not exposed to anti-seizure medications, or for that matter exposed to other medications, but not valproate (Depakote). For the most recent results of the study, children were tested at age six. The same study subjects, it was reported, were also tested at the age of three with similar results. The lower scores appeared not to improve as the children aged.
This appears to support a previous communique released in 2011 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which the government regulator noted those same study results at age three that showed lower scores in IQ and other cognitive tests in children born of mothers who took Depakote for a variety of reasons, than children whose mothers ingested alternative antiepileptic drugs.
The suspicion and association with birth defects linked to Depakote valproate extends to a host of potential birth defects beyond cognitive issues, including Autism. Physical birth defects such as cleft palate can be corrected, for the most part, with surgery.
However, other suspected Depakote birth defects - such as Spina Bifida, hand malformations and abnormally developed ribs - are harder to treat or not treatable at all.
READ MORE DEPAKOTE BIRTH DEFECT LEGAL NEWS
Plaintiffs in Depakote lawsuits maintain they did not know at the time that valproate could cause Depakote birth defects, and otherwise had no opportunity to make an informed choice as to whether or not to take the drug. The FDA maintains that women who become pregnant - or about to become pregnant - while taking Depakote should discuss the issue with their doctor.
A Depakote lawsuit often results when that conversation fails to happen or is not taken seriously.