Depakote (divalproex sodium) Birth Defect Lawsuits
Abbott Laboratories introduced Depakote to the U.S. marketplace in 1983. Since 2013, Abbott’s spinoff AbbVie has manufactured the drug. Over the years, millions of patients have taken the medication. Unfortunately, Depakote has been linked to serious medical complications such as birth defects. As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed in the courts.
Depakote (divalproex sodium) is a popular antiepileptic drug. The medication is also prescribed for the prevention of migraines and for the treatment of bipolar disorder’s manic phases. Although Depakote isn’t a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), doctors sometimes prescribe the drug in conjunction with SSRIs.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) first acknowledged the dangers of Depakote in 2006. Research published in the peer-reviewed Neurology Journal revealed that serious, life-threatening birth defects were discovered in about 20 percent of pregnant Depakote users. After the study was published, the FDA required the inclusion of a black-box warning on the drug’s packaging.
Have you or someone you love been affected by severe Depakote side effects? Has your child been diagnosed with a birth defect that may have been caused by Depakote?
The experienced attorneys at Jones Brown PLLC are ready to help you fight for your rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation regarding your Depakote lawsuit today. All of our legal services are free, and we do not get paid unless we secure a favorable verdict or settlement for you.
Depakote Side Effects: Birth Defects
Depakote is associated with a wide-range of medical complications. Some are relatively minor such as loss of appetite. Others are quite serious and debilitating such as birth defects and suicidal thoughts and behavior. Some of the birth defects noted in the study include:
- Atrial septal defects
- Undescended tests
- Cleft palate
- Abnormally developed limbs
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Neural tube defects
- Spina bifida
Depakote Lawsuits – Side Effects – Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior
In 2008, the FDA issued a safety alert regarding antiepileptic drugs such as Depakote. The FDA warned that patients who take antiepileptic drugs may have an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior. The FDA subsequently required drug manufacturers to update their prescription labels to include a warning about this risk.
Depakote Birth Defect Lawsuits
Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure that their prescription drugs meet certain patient standards. Prescription drugs must be defect-free and safe for patients. If a prescription drug carries a product defect that is unreasonably dangerous, the drug’s manufacturer and sellers can be held responsible for any injuries that result.
A number of plaintiffs have filed Depakote lawsuits involving allegations of birth defects in the state and federal courts. In the lawsuits, plaintiffs have alleged that the drug’s manufacturer provided defective warnings about the risk of birth defects. Plaintiffs claim that if they had known about this risk, they wouldn’t have taken the drug during pregnancy. New Depakote lawsuits continue to be filed in the courts.
In addition, some families who lost a loved one to suicide have filed wrongful death lawsuits claiming that Depakote contributed to their loved one’s death. Under wrongful death laws, close relatives can sue the person or entity responsible for a loved one’s death. If the suit is successful, surviving family members could be awarded damages for any medical or funeral costs, the loss of the deceased’s financial support, and the loss of companionship or emotional support.
Contact Jones Brown PLLC
A major benefit of filing a Depakote lawsuit is that plaintiffs could receive compensation for their injuries. Typical injury damages include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Because most birth defects aren’t curable, a damages award may include projected costs for future medical care. If you or your child have been exposed to a dangerous substance, have an experienced products liability attorney review your claim free of charge.
Our Jones Brown Law team has experience helping countless victims of defective drugs and devices. We understand each case is different, however, we will help you recover what you are entitled to and we understand what you are going through when you are dealing with a defective drug lawsuit or a defective medical device lawsuit. CLICK HERE to fill out our Jones Brown Defective Drug Questionnaire.