26th March 2018

New restrictions on valproate use in pregnancy

An update from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has made a statement about new restrictions on the prescribing of valproate medicines.

Valproate (Epilim, Depakote and other generic brands) is a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder and can sometimes be prescribed for migraine.

Valproate must no longer be used by any woman or girl able to have children unless she has a pregnancy prevention programme in place. This is because valproate is associated with a significant risk of birth defects and developmental disorders in children born to women who take valproate during pregnancy.

These new regulatory measures include a ban on the use of valproate for migraine during pregnancy.

The MHRA recommend that no woman should stop taking valproate without first discussing it with their doctor.

Access MHRA guidance ‘Valproate use by women and girls’ >

Read the news story ‘New measures to avoid valproate exposure in pregnancy’ >

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