Depakote and it’s related link to Spina Bifida

Depakote (divalproex sodium) is a drug manufactured by Abbott Laboratories that was designed for treatment of epileptics and individuals with bipolar disorder, as well as for migraine headaches.

Divalproex sodium has been on the market since 1983 as Depakote, there are several generic forms of it manufactured. Depakote has increased risk for birth defects in children born to women who use the medication during pregnancy.

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida is a congenital defect of the spinal cord and spinal canal leading to a variable degree of leg paralysis and loss of urine and feces sphincter control. Spina bifida (which literally means cleft spine), or SB, may be associated with other malformation, particularly hydrocephalus (excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain). It is an embryological disorder due to failure of fusion of the neural tube in the first month of pregnancy. Surgery has made it possible to treat mild cases by closure of the defect and orthopedic procedures can be applied to balance muscle power. Also, any hydrocephalous must be shunted.

What are the symptoms of Depakote Spina Bifida?

The symptoms of spina bifida vary from person to person, depending on the type. Often, individuals with occulta have no outward signs of the disorder. Closed neural tube defects are often recognized early in life due to an abnormal tuft or clump of hair or a small dimple or birthmark on the skin at the site of the spinal malformation.

Meningocele and myelomeningocele generally involve a fluid-filled sac, visible on the back protruding from the spinal cord. In meningocele, the sac may be covered by a thin layer of skin, whereas in most cases of myelomeningocele, there is no layer of skin covering the sac and a section of spinal cord tissue usually is exposed.

The most dangerous Depakote side effects involve damage to the unborn fetus. Consequently, women who are pregnant, likely to become pregnant, or are nursing should not take Depakote because it can cause the following conditions:

Spina Bifida (a condition that results in the spinal column failing to completely enclose the spinal cord)
Cleft palate
Undescended testes
Hand malformations
Dysplastic Ribs (abnormally developed)
Hypospadia (a condition in male babies that causes the opening of the urethra to occur in the wrong place)

Depakote can cause Spina Bifida

The FDA has insisted on a boxed warning for Depakote packaging that suggests women who are pregnant or thinking of having a child to find an alternative treatment to Depakote. Data suggest an increased incidence of congenital malformations among the offspring of women with epilepsy receiving valproate during pregnancy compared with those who do not receive antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and those who receive other AEDs.

According to data reported by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, use of about 1 g/day of divalproex sodium during the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to a 4-fold increased risk for congenital malformations compared with other anti-epileptic drugs.

Perhaps the most serious congenital side effect associated with Depakote is spina bifida, a malformation or incomplete formation of the embryonic neural tube. The result is an infant born with incomplete spinal formation.

What should I have been affected by Depakote?

If have symptoms that you believe are related to the drug Depakote, give us a call to see if you may qualify for a Lawsuit Claim. Thousands of people have already filed claims. Please call us or fill out our short form on the right and we will be in contact with you immediately.

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