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Depacote use during pregnancy linked to lower IQs and birth defects in children


Tests of three-year-old children of women who took anti-epilepsy drugs during pregnancy showed that women who took Depacote had children with significantly lower IQs than children whose mothers took other anti-epilepsy drugs, according to a study in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. The study looked at women who had taken one of four epilepsy drugs: valproate (Depakote), lamotrigine (marketed under the name Lamictal), phenytoin (marketed as Phenytek and Dilantin), and carbamazepine (marketed under the names Tegretol, Biston, Calepsin, Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Finlepsin, Sirtal, Stazepine, Telesmin, Teril, Timonil, Trimonil, and Epimaz). On average, the  IQ was 101 for children exposed to lamotrigine, 99 for those exposed to phenytoin, 98 for those exposed to carbamazepine, and 92 for those exposed to valproate.  The study concluded that valproate not be used as a first-choice drug in women of childbearing potential.

Depakote is also commonly prescribed for migraine headaches and bipolar disorder.  There is also a known association between epilepsy drugs and birth defects, with Depakote having risks of birth defects two to four times as high as other epilepsy drugs, according to a WebMD article quoting Kimford J. Meador, MD, the study’s lead author and professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta.

About Michael J. Evans

Michael J. Evans is a personal injury lawyer who represents people with claims involving defective medicine or medical devices, other defective products that cause serious injury or death, and environmental cases. Evans also handles whistleblower lawsuits in which employees, or former employees, expose fraud or other illegal conduct by the corporation for which they work(ed), Evans organizes litigation groups of plaintiffs law firms to work with him on these cases nationwide. Evans uses social media, blogs, online video, mobile apps and traditional media to connect with clients, and help other prominent law firms connect with clients.. Evans is also an advocate for the rights of consumers. His primary areas of legal practice are mass torts, and advising law firms on the ethical rules and law governing legal marketing via the Internet and social media.

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