Medications that control epilepsy, such as Depakote, Depakene and Depakon may affect a fetus if used during pregnancy, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration reportedly said recently.
From that announcement, the FDA reportedly said it will be changing the labels of all these types of drugs, called valproate drugs, which are used to treat epilepsy and some manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.
The FDA reportedly said that children of women who took the medications during pregnancy have an increased risk of lower cognitive test scores. The warning was based on studies that showed possible lower scores on IQ and other cognitive tests from those children.
The FDA will now mandate that the information will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the drugs’ labels. The FDA is also advising women taking a valproate are aware of the risk of lower cognitive test scores in children exposed to the drugs. They also reportedly suggest that women who are planning pregnancy should talk to their healthcare professional regarding the use of the valproate.
They also reportedly suggest that women who become pregnant while using a valproate medication should not stop taking the drug, since it could cause other health problems. They should instead contact their doctor immediately and discuss the risks of continued use.
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