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Depakote Birth Defects

If you took Depakote® during pregnancy and your child developed birth defects, the drug injury attorneys of Elk & Elk are here to help you.

Elk & Elk is currently investigating cases in which women who took Depakote® while pregnant and  gave birth to children with serious birth defects. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturer, alleging Abbott Labs failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks of birth defects in children born to women taking Depakote during pregnancy.

Jury awards $38M in Depakote birth defect case

On May 26, 2015, a St. Louis jury unanimously awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and later added $23 million in punitive damages to a 12-year-old girl, who was born with spina bifida after her mother took Depakote. Spina bifida is a serious birth defect in which a baby's spinal cord fails to develop properly during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Our Ohio injury lawyers are ready to thoroughly investigate the circumstances related to your child's birth defect. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO to begin a free, no-obligation case analysis, or contact us online.

Depakote linked to spina bifida and other birth defects

Depakote® (divalproex sodium), also known as valproic acid, is a prescription drug sold by Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie, Inc.). Depakote is used to treat seizures, migraines and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. While Depakote has proven useful in treating these conditions, the risk of birth defects is so pronounced the FDA said that women of childbearing age should only use the drug as a last resort.

According to a 2010 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine* children of mothers, who took Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy are 10 times more likely to develop spina bifida.

Depakote has also been linked to serious birth defects including:

  • Neural tube defects, such as spina bifida
  • Cleft palate
  • Heart defects, such as atrial septal defect
  • Polydactyly (extra fingers or toes)
  • Craniosynostosis (premature closure of sutures in skull)
  • Hypospadias (abnormal location of urethra in males)
  • Fetal death

In 2013, the FDA warned that medications including and related to valproate sodium, including Depakote, can cause decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy.

Contact an experienced Depakote Attorney

Serious birth defects can affect a child for the duration of his or her life, possibly leading to costly surgeries and treatments. If you have taken Depakote during pregnancy and your child has birth defects, you need an experienced attorney to help fight for your rights.

With extensive experience battling big pharmaceutical companies, insurance giants and their courtroom-savvy defense lawyers, the drug injury attorneys of Elk & Elk have the knowledge and the resources to get you the results you deserve.

Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today or fill out our free, no-obligation online consultation form to find out how we can help.


* N Engl J Med, 2010 Jun 10:362(23):2185-93. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa0907328

Depakote® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories.