Sodium valproate and pregnancy

June 21, 2016

You may have seen recent media coverage about the risks posed to an unborn baby from taking some anti-epileptic drugs during pregnancy, particularly sodium valproate:ย BBC news article 20 June 2016.

Medicines for Children have produced advice on this topic already: please see our information leaflet onย sodium valproate. The current advice from the UKโ€™s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) reinforces our guidance provided on the Medicines for Children leaflet โ€“

  • Sodium valproate may harm an unborn baby.
  • If your daughter has sex, it is essential that she uses contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
  • If your daughter is worried that she may be pregnant, it is important that she sees her doctor as soon as possible.
  • Your daughter should keep taking her anti-epilepsy medication until she sees her doctor.
  • The oral contraceptive pill can be used safely in women or girls who are taking sodium valproate.

Do not suddenly stop giving any anti-epilepsy medication to your child, as they may have a seizure. If you are worried, talk to your doctor but carry on giving the medicine to your child as usual.