What are Sodium Valproate Claims?

Sodium Valproate is medication that is used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, it can cause serious abnormalities in babies if taken without regulation during pregnancy. If you or your child has been affected by incorrectly prescribed sodium valproate, then we may be able to assist you in making a claim.

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Sodium Valproate Claims

What is Sodium Valproate?

Sodium Valproate is an anti-convulsant drug that is often used to treat epilepsy, and as a mood stabiliser for sufferers of bipolar disorder.  It is also less frequently used for those suffering from migraines.

First put into medical use in 1962, it is available as a generic medication and is marketed under a number of different names. These are:

  • Epilim
  • Depakote
  • Convulex
  • Episenta
  • Epival
  • Kentlim
  • Orlept
  • Sodium Valproate
  • Syonell
  • Valpal
  • Belvo

It is only available on prescription, and it comes as capsules, tablets and a liquid that you can swallow. In some cases, it can also come as granules that you mix with food or drink. Most commonly, it is taken with or without food twice a day.

Whilst there are a number of potentially small side effects, the most serious occur in women who are pregnant. The risk of physical disabilities for babies where their mother has taken sodium valproate is 10%. This means that one in ten valproate babies could will be born with disabilities. These can include:

  • Major malformations of the spine, such as spina bifida
  • Major malformations of the face and skull, such as cleft palate
  • Major malformations of the limbs
  • Major malformations of the organs, such as the heart, kidneys and sexual organs.
  • Minor malformations of the fingers and toes

Additionally, there are also potential issues with your child’s development. These can include:

  • Memory problems
  • Lower intelligence than other children of the same age
  • Poor speech and language skills
  • Being late in learning to walk and talk
  • Higher risk of autism or autism spectrum disorders
  • Higher risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The risks are present even with smaller doses of valproate. Taking folic acid is generally recommended for anyone trying to have a baby as it can reduce the risk of spina bifida in all pregnancies. However, it is unlikely to reduce the risk of birth defects from valproate.

Can I make a claim?

In all cases of Sodium Valpronate being prescribed to women, they should be carefully monitored, and it should extremely rarely be recommended that they take it during pregnancy. Only in cases where the risk of epileptic fit seems to be of greater risk to the unborn child will it still be prescribed.

If you were mistakenly prescribed Sodium Valproate in the time that you were pregnant and it was not appropriately reviewed, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. If, due to medical error, your child was born suffering Foetal Valproate Syndrome and/or malformations after 2005, then you should contact us for expert advice about your situation.

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