Depakote is an anti seizure medicine used to treat manic or bipolar disorder, epilepsy and migraine. It is brand name for divalproex sodium. It is formed by valporate and valporic acid.

It has shown severe side effects in the past. It is mainly related to liver damages and birth defects. It has caused deaths of unborn babies and infants and is held responsible for birth defects related to brain, spinal cord and others.

Abbott Laboratories is the main manufacturer of valporate with the name of Depakote. This lab is facing several lawsuits as a result of side effects of this medicine. It has been cited responsible for birth defects and is facing lawsuits by the families of 40 children and an adult, who has suffered birth defect due to use of Depakote.

FDA has also warned healthcare professionals and patients of harm caused by this drug during pregnancy. It is advisable to avoid its use or consult a doctor before taking it during pregnancy.

This Lawsuit has been filed St. Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois. This lawsuit has a group of plaintiffs hailing from across the country. It blames Abbott lab for warning patients of its harm if taken during pregnancy. It states that the lab has failed to find out the full potential risk of this medicine, if taken during pregnancy. The warning provided by lab to the pregnant women were not sufficient to make them aware of fatal risk associated with this drug.

This drug has been associated with neural tube disorder and can cause fatal birth defects during first trimester of pregnancy. In the first 28 days of pregnancy its harms are even more severe. The lawsuit alleges Abbott of failing in giving adequate warning to the patients, even that it knew about the potential risk of taking it during pregnancy.

Around 1995, a study showed that there is an increase in the rate of neural tube defects as a side effect from use of Depakote. Its harm was manifold than other anti-epileptic drugs. This study found out that more than 10% infants being affected by Depakote in early pregnancy could develop severe birth defects or deformities. It can result into brain defects, spinal cord defects or abnormal formation of face or other body parts. Other defects may be spina bifida, cleft palate, abnormal skull development, malformed limbs, holes in the heart and urinary tract problems.

Families of affected children blame that Abbott knew about the potential side effects of this medicine, if taken during pregnancy, but it tried to hide the fact by minimizing the risk in its warning. It tried to show the danger of this drug in a curtailed manner. It also tried to promote this drug for depression and other mood disorders off-label. Even if it knew the risk, it went for off-label promotion.

Though Depakote added a black box warning in 2006, it was not clear that it is dangerous even in very early pregnancy. Later it was found out that, it can harm the fetus ever since its conception. It is advisable to not use Depakote if a woman is planning to conceive. Women should avoid its use at most possible extent during their child bearing age as it can have side effects on baby even after a long time after its use.

Abbott has been alleged to risk many lives and causing harm to infants at a large scale. There are many lawsuits being filed against Abbott Lab related Depakote. The number of lawsuits against Depakote has increased recently and increasing too.