The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning women and their health providers that Valproate products, a group of medicines normally used to treat seizures, is unsafe for pregnant women to use to treat migraines. A recent study found that the products may harm brain development in babies, leading to lower IQs than healthy babies later in life. FDA also says women who aren’t pregnant and are using Valproate products should use birth control.
Valproate products are usually used to treat epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes you to have frequent seizures, and bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness that leads to unusual mood changes. FDA says that Valproate products may still be used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder in pregnancy, but only if no other treatment is suitable.
If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, talk to your health provider about any medicines you take. Some medicines you take can hurt your baby. Once you’re provider knows what medicines you take, she can tell you which ones are safe and which ones you need to stop taking.
Learn more about the FDA announcement on Valproate.