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Depakote® Side Effects

Reports indicate that there may be some negative side effects associated with Depakote®. If you think you've suffered harm as a result of a Depakote® side effect, contact us for a consultation.

Depakote® Long Term Side Effects

In medical terms, long-term side effects are those lasting longer than six months. Some of the long-term side effects that may be associated with Depakote® include:

  • Blood Clots — Depakote® was approved in March 1983. After many years on the market, long-term side effects have been found. The most common of the long-term side effects are blood clots. Patients taking Depakote® should see their doctors regularly to have their blood tested for clotting ability.
  • GERD — Gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD, has been found to occur in patients taking Depakote® for a long time. Depakote® is known to damage the linings of the stomach and esophagus, leading to GERD. The drug also promotes more acid production in the stomach.

Depakote® Risk of Birth Defects

Women who are pregnant and taking Depakote® have a greater risk of having a baby born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This is a disorder in which the spinal cord does not close completely. Depakote is a category D pregnancy drug. Category D, a Federal Drug Administration designation, means that the medication has been shown to cause birth defects in humans, but the benefits of the drug may outweigh the possible risks to the patient.

Short-Term Side Effects

Some short-term side effects can include liver toxicity. Some patients experience liver toxicity in the first six months of taking Depakote. This can be a life-threatening condition and requires immediate care. Symptoms of liver toxicity include:

  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Swelling of the face
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin

Depakote® Serious Side Effects

All of the above potential side effects of Depakote — liver toxicity, GERD and blood clots — can be serious, and some of them are life threatening.

Particular life-threatening side effects include:

  • Liver failure, especially in children younger than two years, and in those taking a number of anticonvulsants; those with congenital metabolic disorders, those with severe seizure disorders who also are mentally retarded, and children with organic brain disease. The risk for liver failure decreases with age.
  • Teratogenicity or causing birth defects. These are neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
  • Life-threatening pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, has been reported in both children and adults. Some of these patients have had hemorrhagic pancreatitis, in which the pancreas hemorrhages blood, and goes quickly from having initial symptoms to death.

Depakote® Mild Side Effects

Depakote®, while considered a relatively tolerable drug, has numerous side effects in many of its users. These include:

  • Tremors (shakiness) in more than half of its users
  • Nausea in nearly half
  • Headaches in as many as 31 percent
  • Weakness in up to 27 percent
  • Drowsiness in nearly a third
  • Vomiting in up to 27 percent of users
  • Dizziness in as many as a quarter of patients

Other, less common side effects of this medication include:

  • Hair loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Infections
  • Double vision or blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Heart burn
  • Nervousness
  • Weight gain and weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Problems with coordination
  • Uncontrolled movements
  • Swelling in the arms, legs, or feet
  • Memory loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Appetite changes, both increased and decreased
  • Fever
  • Emotional problems

Experiencing Side Effects While On Depakote® Medication?

If you are experiencing side effects while taking Depakote®, you should consider contacting a Depakote® attorney to evaluate the potential benefits from a Depakote lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer. Our attorneys are available to investigate claims involving serious side effects including birth defects for patients taking Depakote®. Contact us today for a consultation.

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