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Epilepsy Drug-Depakote Associated With Mental Defects in Children Whose Mother Took Drug While Pregnant

Doctors reported yesterday that expectant mothers with epilepsy who took Depakote, a commonly prescribed drug to control seizures were at increased risk of having a child with mental deficits.

As reported in today's New York Times, toddlers who had been exposed in the womb to the drug Depakote, from Abbott Laboratories, scored seven to eight points lower on I.Q. tests at age 2 than those whose mothers had been taking other epilepsy drugs while pregnant, the study found. They were twice as likely to score in the range associated with mental retardation, according to the authors, who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston.

The Times article further states that this new study is consistent with several recent studies finding that Depakote is more likely than other so-called anticonvulsant drugs to increase the risk of mental deficits and other birth defects, like neural tube problems. An estimated 24 million American women have taken these drugs — which include Tegretol from Novartis, Lamictal from GlaxoSmithKline and Dilantin from Parke Davis — for an array of problems, including epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraine headaches, according to an analysis by the Epilepsy Foundation.

The drug’s label now states that Depakote “has been associated with birth defects in children of women who have taken it while pregnant.”

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chris jones

My son was one of the first into Bagdad and blown up in a humvee. He was fast tracked out of the army with zero benefits. He is now a diagnosed epileptic with TBI. Yet still no benefits. Now they have found a growth in his brain. I am an Air Force brat and encouraged him to enlist and now the guilt is killing me. Over the past years he has used narcotics heavily for the headaches they said were'nt really there and been called a wussie in every concievale word. He has attempted suicide more times than I care to couunt. I have no pleasure in saying na na you were wrong. Now I get to see if he lives or dies all over again. And monatarily support him as his government doesn't feel it is their fault. Makes one ponder, huh, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

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