The Real Side Effects of Taking Depakote

Know About The Depakote Side Effects Before You Take It


Depakote is prescribed for migraine headaches, bipolar disorder and epilepsy. It is important to know the various depakote side effects if your doctor recommends this medication to treat your condition. Doctors usually recommend a maximum of 60 mg per day.


Severe side effects of this medication include pancreatitis and liver toxicity. Other potential side effects you should be aware of include confusion, breathing difficulties, joint weakness, bleeding, unusual bruising, severe rash, suicidal ideation, and depression.



This prescription can react with other medications such as carbapenem antibiotics. It is advisable to inform your doctor about all the medications that you are currently taking before they prescribe depakote.


Depakote is not recommended for pregnant women because it has been associated with birth defects. Depakote birth defects can be avoided by informing your doctor if you are trying to conceive. The medication is generally not recommended for women who are in their childbearing years. This is because most women fall pregnant without their knowledge. The medication is believed to affect a growing fetus in the initial three months.


It is also possible to get some less serious side effects including:


  • Hair loss
  • Vision changes
  • Tremor
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Weight changes
  • Mild drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual period changes
  • Unpleasant taste in mouth


If your doctor has prescribed this medication, it means that it has some potential benefits. Your doctor may have evaluated the dangers and decided you are not at risk. It is important to inform your doctor as soon as you get any of these side effects. This will ensure they are addressed before they cause significant harm. Some people also suffer from allergic reactions when they take this medication. But serious reactions are unlikely. You should still consult a doctor if you feel anything unusual even if it does not seem serious at all.

You Could Be At Risk of Birth Defects If You Take Depakote While Pregnant

What Is Depakote?


Depakote is a well-known drug prescribed to patients to treat conditions like epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and to help prevent migraine headaches. This medication has helped millions of people get relief from various other medical conditions. However, during some recent studies it has been discovered that if Depakote is taken during pregnancy, and particularly during the first trimester, then it can adversely affect an infant, and can even lead to various birth defects.


About Depakote


Since 1983, Depakote has been widely available in the United States as a medication to treat epilepsy, and within the very first year, more than two million people were prescribed this drug. Formulated by Abbott Laboratories, this drug became very popular with many other off-brand names.


During the year 2000-2002, Depakote was prescribed for pancreatitis bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, and was a popular adjunctive therapy for seizures. By 2002, more than 27 million Americans were taking this drug.


It was in 2007 that the FDA issued a warning, stating that Depakote, if taken by pregnant women, can increases chances of various birth defects. The drug was then labeled as a Class D drug for expecting ladies. This means that when animals were given Depakote it created adverse reactions. To learn more about birth defects with Depakote visit However, as no tests can be performed on infants, official data on babies are not available. Nonetheless, those infants whose mothers took this drug while they were pregnant were born with many birth defects. Pregnant women too have experienced adverse reactions.


Birth Defects Caused By Depakote


depakote birth defectsAccording to studies, if mothers took Depakote during the first trimester of their pregnancy, it could put their fetus at risk and lead to various side effects, and some such side effects have been discussed below.


Decreased IQ 


As per an epidemiological study, those children who were exposed to the Depakote drug while in the womb, resulted in decreased IQ scores. This is one of the reasons behind the FDA labeling Depakote as a class D drug.


Atrial Septal Defect 


ASD or the atrial septal defect is a congenital heart defect, which results in an abnormal opening in between the upper chambers of the infant’s heart. It is popularly known as a hole in the heart. Infants, whose mothers took this drug while they were in the womb, have 2.5 times chances of experiencing this condition compared to those infants who are not exposed to this drug.


Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip 


Cleft palate and cleft lip is a kind of birth defect wherein an infant’s mouth or lip does not form completely during pregnancy. Those infants whose mothers consume the Depakote drug while pregnant have a five time higher chances of being exposed to this birth defect.


Spina Bifida 


This is a serious birth defect since it affects the spine of an infant, resulting in physical, and at times intellectual disabilities. If babies are exposed to Depakote while in the womb, then there are 12.5 times brighter chances of them developing this birth defect.


Other birth defects related to Depakote are:


  • Malformation and neural tube defects
  • Hypospadias
  • Anencephaly
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Polydactyl


Depakote Lawsuits


As per product liability law, it is the duty of sellers and manufacturers to make sure that the drugs they prescribe meets particular patient standards. All prescription drugs should be safe and defect free. If a prescription drug results in a product defect that is dangerous, then the drug’s sellers and manufacturers can be held responsible for the injuries that result.


A Depakote lawsuit has been filed by many people alleging birth defects in the federal and state courts. These people have alleged in the lawsuits that the manufacturer of the drug did not offer proper warnings relating to the chances of birth defects. These people have further claimed that if they were aware of the side effects, they would never have taken the drug during their pregnancy period.


If you too took Depakote during pregnancy and owing to it your child is suffering from birth defects then you can hire a Depakote lawyer to file a lawsuit. You can contact a good lawyer at You may be eligible for damages, and this includes the medical costs for taking care of the injuries or defects your child is suffering from and your family’s suffering and pain. However, there is a certain time limit to file a claim, so you should speak to a Depakote lawyer about your potential claim today.