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Many Families File Depakote Birth Defect Lawsuits

News continues to roll in on the dangers that certain types of medications pose to those who are expecting children or plan to have children. Our Chicago birth injury attorneys have recently shared a plethora of information on antidepressants and the way that they may cause Illinois birth injuries. The continuous stream of information about these causes of birth defects should act as even more of a motivation for all expectant mothers. It is important that they be particularly careful about the medications and products and understanding how they may affect the development of their unborn children.

Yesterday we discussed how Paxil birth injury lawsuits were still being filed by those whose young children suffered because they were prescribed the antidepressant medication while pregnant. Just this week Web Wire discussed another medication that has caused a variety of problems for mothers and their babies-Depakote. The drug is given to treat bipolar disorder, but it can have severe consequences when given to pregnant woman, especially in their first three months of pregnancy. If an expecting mother takes the drug in that time, their child has a 1 in 20 chance of being born with a birth defect. Those are frighteningly high odds that should put all mothers on notice.

The dangers posed by the drug led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue an alert about the drug’s dangers, warning those who take the drugs of the potential consequences if they are planning a pregnancy. As news of the dangers spread, many Depakote lawsuits were filed by families whose children were affected because they unknowingly took the drug in the first three months of their pregnancy. As part of the lawsuits the plaintiff argued that the company which manufactured the drug-Abbott-knew ahead of time about these dangers posed by the drug. The victims allege that even though they had this knowledge they did nothing to warn patients.

Depakote was developed by Abbott in 1978 to treat a variety of problems including epileptic seizures and mania episodes of those with bipolar disorder. Researchers have found that mothers who take the drug early in their pregnancy have a much higher chance of their children developing problems like cleft palate, spina bifidia, polydactyly, hypospadias, atrial septal defect, and other complications. On top of that, new research recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that Depakote may cause children to lower a child’s IQ.

The Illinois birth defect lawyers at our firm help families whose children have been hurt at birth. At first most families are not sure of all of the factors that have led to the problem. However, after investigation into the matter it often is the case that the birth defect was preventable if only those who were involved in their care had acted reasonably. In those cases, it is fair and logical for the young child’s rights to be protected through use of the civil justice system. Please contact our office if you suspect that you or a loved one has been harmed by this drug or other childbirth errors.

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