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Woman claims Depakote during early stages of pregnancy caused son’s birth defect

Filed April 26th, 2012 Laurie

An Illinois woman claims her taking the epilepsy drug Depakote during her pregnancy resulted in her having a child born with a penile defect.

In a lawsuit in a Cook County Courtroom, Keona Clay believes the makers of Depakote, Abbott Laboratories, failed to warn the public about the dangers of its anti-seizure medication, especially the risks faced by pregnant women or women just before becoming pregnant.

Depakote is just one drug that is believed to cause permanent and life-altering and life-threatening birth defects to babies born to mothers who took the drug. Depakote poses the greatest risk against fetal health when the drug is taken during the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy.

Clay claims her son was born with hypospadia, a defect in which the urethra of the male is deformed, usually growing on the underside of the penis. In some extreme cases, the defect will prevent a man from urinating standing up, according to a report at

The lawsuit claims studies have shown in the long period of time Depakote’s been available that babies born to mothers who’ve taken the drug to control epileptic seizures face a significant risk of developing a serious birth defect. Instead of warning the public, especially expecting mothers or women planning a family, Abbott has spent more promoting the drug and downplaying its risks.

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