Depakote is commonly used in the treatment of seizures, migraines, and mood disorders. It is also a “Pregnancy Category X” drug linked to a 2,060% increased risk of spina bifida. At least 20% of women who take Depakote in pregnancy have a baby with a birth defect. 

$38 Million Depakote Award Survives Appeal

In June 2015, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded $38 million to the family of a 12 year-old girl who was born with numerous birth defects, including spina bifida, after her mother used Depakote during pregnancy. Abbott Laboratories appealed the verdict and asked for a new trial, but in November 2016, judges rejected the appeal and allowed the jury verdict to survive.

Abbott Laboratories Wins Ohio Depakote Trial

In February 2017, a Depakote trial in Ohio ended with a jury clearing Abbott Laboratories on all charges of wrongdoing and refusing to award compensation to “Z.H.,” a boy who was born with birth defects after being exposed to Depakote in the womb. The boy did not have spina bifida, but he did have developmental delays due to microcephaly (abnormally small skull). Click here to read more.

What is the Problem?

Depakote, manufactured by Abbot Laboratories, was developed as an anti-seizure medication, typically used in the treatment of epilepsy, manic episodes of bipolar disorder as well as chronic migraines. However, recent findings have brought an onslaught of attacks for its connections with pancreatitis and potentially fatal birth defects.

Birth Defects in 25% of Babies Exposed to Depakote

A report written to the American Academy of Neurology in May of 2007 acknowledged particularly somber statistics related to Depakote. The findings in the report suggest that 25% of women who were taking Depakote while pregnant gave birth to children who were mentally challenged, and 20% gave birth to children who died immediately after birth or suffered from severe birth defects.

Side Effects of Depakote

  • Spina bifida
  • Cleft lip / cleft palate
  • Heart defects
  • Microcephaly
  • Low IQ
  • Developmental delays
  • Neural tube birth defects
  • Craniofacial defects
  • Cardiovascular malformations
  • Valproate Syndrome
  • Limb and skeletal defects
  • And more


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