In June, the FDA warned doctors that fetal exposure to certain epileptic drugs like Depakote could lower a child’s IQ when the drugs are taken by pregnant women.
The drugs specifically mentioned by the FDA include “valproate products, such as valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, Depakote ER), valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor) and their equivalent generic formulations.”
Specifically, the FDA said that “children born to women who take these medications during their pregnancy have an increased risk of lower cognitive test scores than children exposed to other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy.”
The FDA’s conclusion was based on epidemiological studies that found that babies who are exposed to the valproate drugs in utero tended to have lower IQ scores than kids whose mothers didn’t take the drugs while pregnant. That study is one of the reasons why the FDA is now advising doctors to recommend patients of childbearing age not to take the drugs if other drugs work better. The FDA also advises that doctors “weigh the benefits and risks of valproate when prescribing this drug to women of childbearing age, particularly when treating a condition not usually associated with permanent injury or death. Alternative medications that have a lower risk of adverse birth outcomes should be considered.”
Depakote and valproate drugs are not the only epilepsy medications linked to birth defects. Topamax, which is an anti-seizure medication, is also associated with birth defects in babies that are exposed to the drug in utero. Some babies are born with defects such as cleft palate, PPHN, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects. If your baby was born with birth defects after taking Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax birth defects lawsuits and may be able to get you money for your baby’s injuries.