Anti-seizure drugs are prescribed to treat or control the symptoms of conditions such as epilepsy, migraines, Parkinson’s disease, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and many others. Anti-seizure medications can have dangerous side effects for users and many have been linked to serious or fatal birth defects.

Examples of Anti-Seizure Medications

Since these drugs are prescribed to treat a wide range of conditions, you may not be aware that you are being treated with an anti-seizure medication. Examples include:

Anti-Seizure Medication Dangers

The potential side effects depend on the type of anti-seizure medication you are taking. Some of the common dangers of anti-seizure medications include:

  • Impulse control disorders, including compulsive gambling
  • Heart problems
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • Birth defects

Anti-Seizure Medication Birth Defects

Seizures during pregnancy can be dangerous for the baby, and women who are taking medication to prevent or control seizures should work closely with their doctors to make sure that they are taking the safest medication.

However, many women who are taking these medications during pregnancy are taking them for other conditions, such as migraines, and may be able to safely stop taking them with their doctors’ guidance.

Birth defects caused by anti-seizure medications can include:

  • Oral clefts
  • Brain injury
  • Neural tube defects, including spina bifida
  • Heart defects
  • Skull defects
  • Facial deformity
  • Limb deformity
  • Missing limbs

Anti-Seizure Medications Uses

Anti-seizure medications are prescribed for numerous conditions and purposes including:

  • Control seizures in people with epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Prevent migraines
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Sexual dysfunction caused by SSRI antidepressants
  • Chronic pain

Anti-seizure medications are often prescribed for off-label purposes. Doctors can legally prescribe medications off-label when they feel it is in the best interest of patients. Drug makers, however, are not allowed to market their products off-label.

In May, 2012, Abbot Laboratories agreed to pay $1.6 billion in civil and criminal penalties for off-label marketing of Depakote. In 2009, Pfizer faced similar charges and fines for off-label marketing of Lyrica and other drugs.

If you believe that anti-seizure medications caused your injury or your child’s birth defects, please find an anti-seizure medication injury attorney in your area today and schedule a consultation to learn more about your rights and possible compensation.