The Consumer Justice Foundation Alerts the Public to Australian Study Revealing High Risk for Birth Defects in Children Whose Mothers Used Valproate While Pregnant

Share Article

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose URL can be found at and which is staffed by a team of professional consumer advocates hereby alerts the public of the results of a recent study performed in Australia that revealed a high risk for birth defects in children whose mothers used valproate while pregnant. Valproate is the active ingredient in the medication known as Depakote, and this alert is consistent with the mission of the CJF, which is to keep the public aware of the potential dangers of certain prescription drugs by providing free informational online resources regarding such issues as risks for Depakote side effects.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, which is a for-profit corporation that’s comprised of a team of professional consumer advocates who work to provide free online informational resources to the public in an effort to keep them aware of the dangers of certain prescription medications, hereby alert consumers of the results of a recent study completed and published in Australia that showed that women who took valproate while pregnant faced a much higher risk of having children with birth defects than those who used other medications. Valproate is the active ingredient in Depakote.

Specifically, this study was performed at the University of Melbourne and led by Professor Frank Vajda. It was published on November 18, 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. The study analyzed data on pregnancy outcomes for 1317 women with epilepsy. One group of women used traditional anti-epileptic drugs that included Di-Phen/Dilantin/Phenytek (phenytoin), Depacon (valproate), and Tegretol (carbamazepine). Another group used newer epilepsy medications that included Lamictal, Keppra, or Topamax. A third group served as the control group and did not use medication.

The results of the study revealed that the rate of birth defects for each of the three newer medications were equal to or lower than the rate for the untreated control group. That rate was approximately 5.2 percent. However, 16.3 percent of women who used valproate-containing medication had children who were born with birth defects.

As stated above, valproate is one of the integral ingredients in the anticonvulsant medication known as Depakote, and alleged Depakote side effects from the past have included the risk of birth defects. Depakote is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories and has been prescribed to treat the symptoms of epilepsy, migraine headaches and other seizure disorders.

About the Consumer Justice Foundation
The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site is located at, is a public resource that's been built and maintained by a group of concerned professionals who want to provide general information for consumers regarding the potential dangers involved with the use of Depakote while pregnant. This resource is not to be considered as medical or legal advice, which should only be dispensed by a licensed medical doctor or a Depakote lawyer.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Faith Anderson
Visit website