Depakote, a drug made by Abbot Laboratories and AbbVie Inc., has been the subject of lawsuits as allegedly, its use may lead to serious, adverse effects including birth deformity, pancreatic problems, and even suicidal thoughts. Generally, this medication is used to treat a number of seizure disorders and is often prescribed to epileptic patients.

Depakote has been on the market since 1983. The drug was also approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat severe migraines and mood disorders. This medication is classified as an anticonvulsant drug which works by calming hyperactivity in the brain. Among the drug’s most common minor adverse effects are rashes, nausea, fatigue and drowsiness.

But there are more serious effects noted by those who have used the drug.

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Birth defects in babies who were born from mothers who took the drug during pregnancy are noted as the most serious adverse effects of Depakote. These defects include cleft palate, heart defects, spina bifida and hypoplasia. The National Institute of Health reported that babies of women who are taking these kinds of medications while pregnant are three times more prone to major birth defects. Craniofacial defects, autism, cognitive impairment and valproate syndrome are also allegedly among Depakote’s serious adverse effects. In Illinois federal court, on July 2012, 27 mothers filed lawsuits against Abbot Laboratories in Illinois federal court because of Depakote’s adverse effects to their babies.

Women whose babies are affected by Depakote‘s side effects should step forward and take legal action. A product liability lawyer can guide them through their legal options and the process of filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug.