This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Women and girls must be warned of the risks associated with valproate

Written by: | Published:

Women and girls must be adequately informed about the risks of taking valproate medication, prescribed for bipolar disorder and epilepsy, the MHRA has warned.

Valproate is known to be damaging to fetal development causing babies to have birth defects. However, a European review in 2014 showed that of the 35,000 women prescribed valproate during the course of the review, 375 became pregnant. It found that approximately 40 per cent of children born to women who take valproate during pregnancy may have developmental disorders or other defects.

The MHRA has produced information booklets for healthcare professionals and patients as an educational tool. The warnings on the leaflet inside the packaging has also been strenghtened to increase awareness of the risks to unborn children.

Dr June Raine, director of MHRA's vigilance and risk management of medicines division, said:'If valproate is the only option, women of childbearing age should be given effective contraception. Women taking valproate must have regular reviews of their treatment,' she added.

'We want to ensure that medical professionals inform women and girls of the latest information about the risks of developmental disorders in children exposed to valproate during pregnancy, in addition to the already well-known risks of birth defects.'

NICE is currently reassessing the use of valproate as part of its guidelines on epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.