Facial Dysmorphism due to Depakote

With the introduction of the prescription drug Depakote, people suffering from seizures because of depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and other problems relating to mental health and, most especially, manic-depression or bipolar disorder were provided with an effective medical solution.

As an anticonvulsant drug, Depakote is able to help stabilize the mood, behavior, energy, and cognitive processes of people with bipolar disorder. Perhaps more importantly, it is also known to be an effective medication for preventing migraines and seizures. Another important benefit of Depakote is its coating, which helps reduce some of the gastrointestinal side-effects associated with anti-seizure medications.

Manic-depressive disorder is a serious mental illness, and patients with this condition often see it affect their relationships, performance in school, and ability to work and remain a healthy part of their community if the disorder is not treated. This is because the mood swings, besides being on extremes, can last for days or even weeks. With Depakote, however, the person becomes more stable.

Though proven effective, Depakote was not without side-effects. It was found out that the ones most affected by this prescription drug were unborn children – through mothers who have taken the drug during pregnancy. Thus, babies of these pregnant mothers suffered from severe birth defects, some of which included deformity of the cardiovascular system, spinal defects, like scoliosis and spina bifida, defects in the brain, and skull deformity. Aside from these, babies born to mothers who took Depakote were also discovered to have poorer performance on tests that involved problem-solving, intelligence, and reasoning.

Another serious complication caused by Depakote is facial dysmorphism, a birth defect where some of the facial structures of a child are deformed. Children with facial dysmorphism can have cleft palate, cleft lip, deformed ears, facial asymmetries, developmental delay, eyes spaced too far apart or too near each other, mismatched eye colors, and other problems. These deformities can have an impact on the life of a child, affecting his or her level of confidence, happiness, and health.

For women whose children were born with a birth defect as a result of their use of Depakote during pregnancy, it may be possible to pursue compensation through a Depakote lawsuit to help pay for the costs that their child’s condition may result in.