Study Finds Depakote Use in Pregnancy Delays Cognitive Development

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Study Finds Depakote Use in Pregnancy Delays Cognitive Development

    A new study published last month in The Lancet Neurology supports previous research linking the use of the anticonvulsant drug Depakote in pregnancy to cognitive developmental delays among children exposed to the medication in utero. In the latest study, researchers found a dose-dependent connection between Depakote use during pregnancy and reduced cognitive abilities in six-year-old children. If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child has suffered cognitive impairment or another serious side effect, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at AMA Law for legal help. Our lawyers have extensive experience protecting the rights of consumers harmed by potentially dangerous medications, and will work diligently to help you pursue the financial compensation you are entitled to.


    In the Depakote study, researchers examined data on hundreds of mother-child pairs at 25 epilepsy centers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and looked at the IQs of children whose mothers took various anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy, including Depakote, Dilantin, Tegretol and Lamictal. Their report indicated that children born to women who took Depakote while pregnant had weaker memory and verbal abilities than those born to women who took other medications. Higher doses of Depakote were related to poorer verbal abilities, non-verbal abilities, executive function and memory.


    Based on these findings, the researchers determined that the alleged side effects of Depakote use in pregnancy appeared to be dose-specific, meaning the higher the dose of Depakote used, the worse the delays in cognitive development. Previous research has also suggested that Depakote use during pregnancy may increase the risk of children suffering reduced IQ and developmental delay, and dose-specific correlations like those found in the Lancet study are typically considered a very strong indicator that a medication is actually causing the side effects observed.


    The potential connection between Depakote use in pregnancy and developmental delays in children is not new. In 2007, a report presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found that children were twice as likely to have IQ scores in the range of mental retardation after the mothers used Depakote, compared to children exposed to other epilepsy drugs in pregnancy. If your child is suffering from cognitive development problems or low IQ, and you believe exposure to Depakote in pregnancy to be the cause, consult our reputable lawyers at AMA Law to discuss your legal options. With our attorneys on your side, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your child’s injuries.

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    (405) 607-8757