Depakote Developmental Delays, Lowered I.Q. and Cognitive Problems for Children

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted March 27, 2013


The amount of evidence is growing in support of Depakote lawsuits that allege use of the antiseizure drug during pregnancy increases the risk that children will suffer developmental delays, lower I.Q., autism and other cognitive problems.

The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been investigating potential claims for families throughout the United States who have had a child born with developmental disabilities potentially caused by side effects of Depakote. These cases are being pursued in addition to lawsuits over birth defects and malformations from Depakote use during pregnancy, which has previously been linked to a potential risk of spina bifida, oral clefts, abnormal developments and other malformations.

While most of the research and attention in recent years has focused on the risk of Depakote birth defects, a number of recent studies highlight the potential risk of cognitive problems for children exposed to Depakote before birth.

Studies on Depakote Effects on Development, Cognitive Ability

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Has Your Child Suffered Effects of Depakote?


According to a study recently published in the Lancet Neurology medical journal, researchers from Emory University found that children who were born of mothers who were given Depakote during pregnancy were more likely to have verbal and memory delays.

The study also found that the more Depakote the mother received while pregnant, the more pronounced the delays and the higher chances that the child will have a lowered I.Q.

In another study published earlier this year in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, British researchers found that women who used Depakote while pregnant had an increased risk of giving birth to a child with autism, as well as other developmental delays.

Their findings suggested that the side effects of Depakote increased the risk of a pregnant woman giving birth to a child with developmental delays by a factor of six. However, when Depakote was combined with other drugs, researchers found that children were at 10 times the risk of developmental delays, the most common of which was autism.

In 2011, Danish researchers came to similar conclusions in a study presented at an American Epilepsy Society meeting in Baltimore. They found that taking Depakote during pregnancy increased a woman’s risk of giving birth to a child with autism 2.6 times.

These latest studies are not the first indications that Depakote use during pregnancy may be dangerous for children. Although Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of the drug, appears to have known about this potential risk for some time, they failed to provide adequate and sufficient warnings to women or the medical community about the risk

In fact, in an article we posted on this blog back in 2007, we highlighted a report that suggested children who were exposed to Depakote during pregnancy were twice as likely to have lower I.Q. scores in the range of mental retardation, when compared with children exposed to other epilepsy drugs.

Was your premature baby diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed baby formula in the NICU? You may be eligible for a NEC lawsuit.

Depakote Developmental Delay Lawsuits

The Depakote lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to review potential claims for families throughout the United States who believe their child may have suffered:

  • Severe Developmental Delay
  • Cognitive Limitations
  • Lowered I.Q.
  • Autism
  • Other Mental Disabilities or Developmental Problems

In addition to these claims, our law firm is also continuing to review claims for birth defects and malformations caused by the effects of Depakote use during pregnancy, including:

  • Spina Bifida
  • Cleft Palate
  • Abnormal Skull Formation
  • Malformed Limbs and Extra Toes/Fingers
  • Urinary Problems
  • Heart Problems

The makers of Depakote have either failed to adequately research the side effects of their medication or placed profits ahead of patient safety by failing to adequately warn about the risk of using Depakote while pregnant or the risk of becoming pregnant while on the medication.

All cases are reviewed by our law firm under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are no out of pocket expenses to hire a lawyer and there are no attorney fees or expenses unless a recovery is secured for the child’s injury from Depakote.

To review a potential claim for your child or a family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

2 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • TINA says:

    i lak to now dilantin use pregnancy kuose autism

    Posted on March 28, 2014 at 8:55 am

  • Jennifer says:

    I was on this medication before I was even 10, before that it was depakene, after Depakote it was zorantin

    Posted on July 29, 2022 at 10:07 pm

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