Our Chicago birth injury attorneys recently read about an injury lawsuit that was filed by an Illinois family in which the family alleges that the health problems that their twin babies were born with were a result of the mother being prescribed Depakote during pregnancy. This is a common drug given to patients to try to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures, but has been linked to spina bifida birth defects when taken by pregnant patients. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the baby’s spinal cord is not fully formed and stays open and fused. Babies born with this type of birth injury often face a lifetime of disability and suffer through a lot pain throughout their life as a result of this birth injury.
The injury lawsuit was filed on behalf of both of the couple’s twin daughters, since both babies were born with spina bifida allegedly caused by the taking of Depakote. The family filed the lawsuit naming the drug manufacturer as defendant for failure to warn the doctors or the patients of the dangers of taking the medication during pregnancy. The mother of the twin girls says that she would not have chosen to take the anti-seizure medication if she had known what the risks to her babies would have been and because there was no warning associated with the drug, she did take the medication and the twin girls suffered birth injuries as a result.
According to About Lawsuits, not only spina bifida has been linked to Depakote as a possible birth injury, but babies have also been born with other birth defects after the mother took this drug such as cleft palates, problems with skull development, problems with limb development, holes in the heart, urinary tract infections, and cognitive impairments. While spina bifida is often times most commonly with this drug, these other birth injuries have been linked to Depakote as well.
The manufacturers of Depakote have faced many injury lawsuits in recent years, and the FDA added a warning in 2006 that as many as 20% of women who were taking the drug while pregnant gave birth to a baby that had either spina bifida or the other birth defects that have been associated with Depakote. More recently researchers have discovered that Depakote can do serious damage early on in the pregnancy and that the first 28 days of the pregnancy are likely when the drug is most dangerous to the baby. Often times a woman may not know they are pregnant early on and because of this severe damage is often already done to the baby before the mother is able to stop using the drug. As a result of this problem, doctors need to be very cautious about prescribing Depakote to women who are trying to become or are in a position to become pregnant.
If you or a loved one gave birth to a baby with birth defects and was prescribed Depakote during your pregnancy without any warnings of the possible dangers to the baby, please contact our Illinois personal injury lawyers today to talk to a birth injury attorney about what the birth injury that has occurred and what options may be available to you or your family.