Anencephaly is a deadly neural tube birth defect, in which the baby’s brain and skull fail to develop. There is no cure for anencephaly. It develops during the first month of pregnancy, before most women knows she is pregnant, and is usually caused by low folate levels or prenatal exposure to toxins. Some prescription medications, including Clomid, Phenobarbital, Depakote, Depakene, SSRIs, and antidepressants, increase a woman’s risk of having a baby with anencephaly. Many women whose babies were harmed by these medications are now seeking legal help.
Do I Have an Anencephaly Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking Clomid, Phenobarbital, Depakote, Depakene, SSRI, antidepressant, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Anencephaly lawsuit.
What is Anencephaly?
Anencephaly is a very serious, deadly birth defect, in which a large part of the baby’s brain and skull fails to develop. The cause of anencephaly is a failure of the neural tube to develop properly. The neural tube is the narrow channel that contains the spinal cord. A neural tube defect occurs very early in pregnancy, around the third or fourth week, when the tube fails to close completely, leaving the spinal cord exposed to the amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb.
Infants with anencephaly are born without a cerebrum (the part of the brain responsible for thinking and coordinating) or a forebrain (the front of the brain). In addition, sometimes the parts of the brain that did develop are not protected by a skull or skin. The exposed parts of the brain suffer damage from the amniotic fluid and exposure once the baby is born.
Babies born with anencephaly are unable to think or feel pain. They are also blind, deaf, and unconscious. Because they have no cerebrum, they will never be able to gain consciousness. A baby born with anencephaly will usually be stillborn, or die within a day or two after birth.
The CDC estimates that one out of 10,000 babies will be born with a neural tube defect, though the real number is unknown, because many women suffer miscarriages or terminate the pregnancy before the child can be born.
Clomid, Phenobarbital, Depakote, Depakene, SSRIs, Antidepressants Linked to Anencephaly
Did you know? Some types of prescription medications, herbal supplements, dietary supplements, and over-the-counter drugs can cause birth defects. Talk to your doctor about what drugs are necessary to take during pregnancy. Do not start or stop taking any medication without first consulting a doctor.
Clomid: Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is the most common fertility-medication in the U.S, prescribed to help a woman become pregnant. Clomid stimulates the ovaries to produce an egg. It is classified as Category X, which is reserved for drugs that are most dangerous to an unborn child.
Phenobarbital: An FDA-approved barbituate medication usually prescribed to prevent seizures, relieve anxiety, and prevent withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to other barbituates. Also known as Luminal. It is the most common anti-convulsant medication in the world.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used by women to treat the symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, many women taking these drugs have become pregnant, and have had babies with severe birth defects. If you have had a baby with a birth defect while taking an antidepressant, including anencephaly, you should contact a lawyer at The Clark Firm LLP. You may have a lawsuit against the drug-makers.
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Anti-Seizure Medications – The group of medications (usually prescribed to prevent seizures, for manic-depressive episodes, migraine headaches, and other mood conditions) has been linked to birth defects, according to new research. Drugs in this group include:
- Depakote CP
- Depakote ER
The only way for a pregnant women to tell if her unborn child has a neural tube defect is to undergo prenatal testing. Anencephaly is often diagnosed when the health care provider performs an ultrasound, because it will be visually apparent that the skull and brain are failing to develop properly. Anencephaly develops during the first month of pregnancy, usually before the mother knows she is pregnant.
Tests that may be done on the pregnant mother:
- Amniocentesis (to look for increased levels of alpha-fetoprotein)
- Alpha-fetoprotein level (increased levels suggest a neural tube defect)
- Urine estriol level
Symptoms of anencephaly may include:
- absence of bony covering over the back of the head
- missing bones around the front and sides of the head
- folding of the ears
The easiest way to reduce your risk of having a baby with a neural tube defects is to take a folic acid supplement. Anencephaly is also caused by prenatal exposure to toxins, which may be found in some types of prescription medications.
New research has found that many neural tube defects are linked to low folate levels. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that all women of childbearing age take a folic acid supplement, at least 0.4 mg per day. Folic acid is a type of B-vitamin. The reason folic acid is recommended for all women of childbearing age is that the woman needs to be taking it at least two months before she becomes pregnant. Furthermore, she needs to take a folic acid supplement for the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Since the U.S. began fortifying enriched grains with folic acid, the incidence of neural tube defects has dropped more than 27%.
Do I Have a Anencephaly Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Anencephaly lawsuit.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more that 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Anencephaly birth defect lawsuit review.