Study Highlights Link Between Depakote and Autism, Developmental Delays

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

Request A Free Consultation

(405) 607-8757

    Study Highlights Link Between Depakote and Autism, Developmental Delays

    A new study appears to support previous research indicating that women who use the anticonvulsant drug Depakote while pregnant may have an increased risk of giving birth to children with autism or other developmental delays. If you took Depakote during pregnancy and your child was born with cognitive problems or a serious birth defect like spina bifida, contact our reputable attorneys at AMA Law as soon as possible. Our lawyers have extensive experience protecting the rights of consumers harmed by pharmaceutical drugs, and will work to help you pursue the financial compensation your child deserves for his or her injuries.


    The latest research, published online on January 31 by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, found that children born to mothers who took Depakote during pregnancy had an increased risk of experiencing potentially major developmental delays, and researchers noted that this association was not seen among children exposed to other anticonvulsants, like Lamictal and Tegretol, in utero. The study authors examined data on more than 500 pregnant women between the years 2000 and 2004, and found that babies exposed to Depakote before birth were an alarming six times more likely to suffer a developmental disorder – most commonly autism – than babies whose mothers did not have epilepsy. When Depakote was used in combination with other medications, the rate skyrocketed to ten times the risk.


    Depakote is a medication commonly prescribed to patients struggling with epilepsy, and was first introduced in the United States by maker Abbott Laboratories in 1978. Since that time, Depakote has become one of the most widely used anticonvulsant medications on the market. Unfortunately, mounting research indicates that Depakote use in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of devastating birth defects in exposed babies, including cleft palate, spina bifida, limb defects, heart malformations and skeletal defects, especially when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) included a “black box” warning on Depakote’s label, warning consumers about the potential risk for Depakote to cause birth defects in babies. This action came after a study found that 20% of pregnant mothers who gave birth while taking Depakote had a child with a birth defect or malformation.


    This latest report comes as Abbott Laboratories faces a growing number of Depakote lawsuits filed on behalf of children across the country who have developed spina bifida or other birth defects after the mother was given Depakote during pregnancy. The complaints involve similar allegations that Abbott failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks associated with becoming pregnant while taking the anticonvulsant medication. If your child was born with a serious birth defect and you believe Abbott’s Depakote drug to be the cause, consult our team of knowledgeable lawyers at AMA Law for legal help. Our experienced attorneys can help you file a drug injury claim against Abbott and pursue reimbursement for your child’s injuries and medical expenses.

    Request a free consultation

    (405) 607-8757