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Updated guidance for healthcare professionals on prescribing valproate

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14 December 2020
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Updated guidance on valproate use has been produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Association of British Neurologists and Royal College of Physicians, and endorsed by RCPCH among other professional bodies. 

This guidance has been updated to inform all healthcare professionals of best practice around the use and prescribing of valproate. It supports them to navigate situations that could arise as a result of prescribing valproate to girls and women of childbearing age. This is due to the significant risk of birth defects and developmental disorders that can occur if valproate is taken during pregnancy.

The updated guidance takes into account minor changes made to decision-making guidelines by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the General Medical Council (GMC), as well as updated input from all contributing organisations, and gives healthcare professionals practical information on prescribing valproate to girls and women with bipolar disorder or epilepsy. 

You can read the full guidance on the RCGP website, and it is also available as a resource on the RCPCH’s website - one of our partner organisations.

Advice for parents and carers on valproate and pregnancy is available on our website here: www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/sodium-valproate-and-pregnancy-information-parents-and-carers 

We also have information on valproate and pregnancy prepared specifically for girls and young women available here: www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/sodium-valproate-and-pregnancy-information-girls-and-young-women