Anti-seizure medication Depakote is linked to certain birth defects according to a recent FDA warning. As a result many women have completely stopped using Depakote when considering pregnancy.
Recently studies of women taking the medication Depakote (valporic acid) showed alarming rates of birth defects in newborn babies. If a pregnant woman is prescribed the medication and subsequently uses it during her first three months of pregnancy will face a higher risk of giving birth to a baby with birth defects.
What is Depakote?
Depakote was approved by the FDA in 1983. It was initially marketed for the treatment for epilepsy. Throughout the years, physicians also began prescribing the drug to individuals suffering from migraines, bipolar illnesses as well as depression. The medication was said to reinforce the mood for individuals suffering from bipolar illnesses.
What are Depakote related birth defects ?
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2009 (“Cognitive Function at 3 Years of Age after Fetal Exposure to Antiepileptic Drugs“) found that children born to women taking Depakote are at an increased risk of suffering from birth defects as well as other problems.
Other studies show that 28% of children whose mothers took Depakote suffered from a birth defect. There are other problems and difficulties that have occurred during pregnancies including: the death of the fetus as well as development delays. All of these circumstances are clearly very unfortunate, and as a result the only alternative is to ultimately put the medication aside during pregnancy to avoid any kind of damage.
Reports indicate that newborn babies suffered the following birth defects:
- spina bifidia (this takes place when the spinal cord as well as the backbone fail standard development, which in turn causes extreme problems for the newborn baby);
- atrial defect (this birth defect consists of a hole in the heart, which evidently results in high dangers for the newborn baby);
- cleft palate (the abnormal and lack of development in the mouth);
- hypospadias (this birth defect consists of the abnormality within the opening of the urethra);
- polydactyly (when the newborn baby suffers from having extra fingers or toes); and
- craniosynostosis (this birth defect consists of when the are sutures on the newborn baby’s skull will close prematurely).