A Brief Guide to Filing a Depakote Lawsuit:
What is Depakote?
Depakote is the brand name for Valproic acid. When used alone or with other medications, the drug is effective in treating certain types of seizures. Depakote, in addition to this application, may also be used to prevent migraines and treat manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. Depakote belongs to a class of medications known as anticonvulsants; it is effective by increasing the amount of certain substances in the brain.
Depakote Side Effects:
Depakote may cause side effects; please inform your doctor if any of the following Depakote side effects are severe or persistent:
• Common Depakote Side Effects Include: drowsiness; headache; diarrhea; constipation; dizziness; changes in appetite; agitation; uncontrollable shaking of the body; hair loss; sore throat; stuffed or runny nose; uncontrollable movements of the eyes; loss of coordination; abnormal thinking and memory loss.
Some Depakote side effects are classified as serious. If you experience the following Depakote side effects or those listed within the WARNING section of the drug’s packaging, please contact your doctor immediately:
• Severe Depakote Side Effects Include: unusual bleeding or bruising; fever; blisters or rash; itching; rash; difficulty breathing or swallowing; swollen glands; weakness in the joints; depression; suicidal thoughts and confusion
Depakote side effects may take other forms; if you experience any adverse reactions, please contact your doctor to discuss discontinuation.
Depakote FDA Information:
If properly monitored by a physician, patients can continue taking the drug without experiencing serious Depakote side effects. That being said, recent reports have found a link between taking a Depakote dosage and birth defects. The FDA, in response to said findings, has updated its warnings concerning Depakote side effects. The recently found effects, not surprisingly, have led to the imitation of multiple suits been filed by female users who took the drug prior to the release of pregnancy warnings.
Famous Depakote Lawsuits:
The most significant Depakote lawsuit was recently resolved when the Justice Department announced that manufacturer Abbott Laboratories is responsible for paying $1.6 billion as compensation for improperly marketing the medication. This Depakote lawsuit; however, was not related to Depakote side effects, but instead its illegal marketing practices. While it is not illegal to prescribe a Depakote dosage for a purpose not approved by the FDA, the company violated the law by actively marketing the drug for schizophrenia, autism and other off-label uses.
Although the most famous Depakote lawsuit dealt with fraudulent marketing practices, other Depakote lawsuits are filed because of side effects, including an active class-action Depakote lawsuit regarding birth defects. These Depakote lawsuits are filed by users who develop severe Depakote side effects as a result of proper use—a Depakote lawsuit cannot be filed if the user abused the drug. Those filing Depakote lawsuits seek compensation to offset the costs associated with their adverse reaction—Depakote lawsuits, if successfully filed, will award funds for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
A number of Depakote lawsuits have been filed due to the drug’s link with birth defects. As a result of this data, the FDA required a warning concerning the risks of birth defects to be added to prescription information.
A more extensive study of Depakote side effects was released in 2010. This study of 98,000 female Depakote users concluded that, among other risks, a fetus being born with spina bifida was 12 times more likely to occur. Five other potential birth defects were observed to increase significantly as part of these Depakote side effects, including various heart conditions and cleft palate. As of the middle of 2012, a class action Depakote lawsuit regarding birth defects represented 27 women. These Depakote lawsuits are currently still pending.
In 2009, the FDA concluded that Depakote increased the risk of suicidal urges and depression. This conclusion was reached after a review of several antiepileptic medications. Before this finding, the bulk of Depakote lawsuits, if filed adequately, would most likely have resulted in a settlement.
The outcome of the class action Depakote lawsuit over birth defects will determine whether litigation filed by other women is likely to be successful. Due to the strong links suggested by multiple studies between a Depakote dosage and birth defects, this case stands a strong chance of success. To avoid taking action after the statute of limitations in your state expires, consult with an attorney immediately to file a Depakote lawsuit.
1. “Valproic Acid” United States National Library of Medicine retrieved from: