Our Illinois birth injury attorneys have unfortunately seen many cases of birth injuries related to the taking of a drug by a mother during pregnancy, that her doctor either did not warn her could cause birth defects or that the company did not warn doctors could cause birth defects. Often times the birth injury that results from taking the drug while pregnant is one that would not have been present if the doctor responsible for the mother and unborn baby’s health had not prescribed the drug to the pregnant mother. Two of the most common drugs that have been linked to a high frequency of birth injuries, if the mother is taking the drug during her pregnancy, are Depakote and Topamax, both of which are drugs designed to reduce the number of epileptic seizures for patients taking these drugs. While these drugs do work well for patients with epilepsy in helping to control their seizures, the drugs have been found in many cases be very dangerous to an unborn baby, and as many as one out of every five babies born while the mother was taking one of these anti-seizure medications were born with birth defects.
The birth defects associated with these anti-seizure drugs range from spina bifida (when the baby’s spinal cord does not develop properly) to problems with limb development and problems with skull and brain development. Since these drugs have recently been linked to these birth defects many families who had babies while prescribed this medication have filed a birth injury lawsuit against both the manufacturing companies and the doctors who prescribed the drugs to the mothers.
Researchers have found that some of the newer anti-seizure drugs do not seem to cause birth defects in babies if the mother is taking them during pregnancy. According to About Lawsuits, the two newer anti-seizure drugs that were studied in connection with birth defects were Trileptal and Lamictal, and no connection was found between using these drugs during pregnancy and an increase in birth defects. The reason that this news is so important is that epileptic patients that are pregnant may now have a safe alternative that allows them to continue their medication to prevent seizures while also making sure that their baby does not suffer a birth injury while taking the medication.
These newer anti-seizure drugs not causing birth defects are also great news for pregnant epileptic women because the risk of not taking any anti-seizure medication during pregnancy is not only a danger to the mother but could be dangerous to the baby as well. The mother having a seizure during pregnancy could be dangerous to the baby’s health and development as well as to the mother, so it would be best if there was an option for the mother to be able to take an anti-seizure medication that would also be safe to her unborn baby.
Most mothers would not have chosen to have taken one of the now known anti-seizure drugs that have been found to have a strong correlation to birth injuries had they known of the dangers. However, most mothers that were prescribed the drugs linked to birth injuries were unaware that there was any danger associated with the drug and trusted their doctors to not prescribe them something that would endanger their baby. Whether it was the doctor or the drug company’s negligence that led to these avoidable birth injuries to all of these babies, the families are entitled to compensation for all that they have suffered as a result of another’s negligence. If you or a loved one has given birth to a baby that suffered birth defects likely a result of an anti-seizure medication being prescribed during pregnancy, please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm today to see what options are available to you.