New guidelines warn of epilepsy drug's use during pregnancy

04/27/2009 | WebMD

The American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society released guidelines advising pregnant women against the use of epilepsy drug valproate as well as seizure medicines phenytoin and phenobarbital because they have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects. The guidelines were issued after a study showed that children whose mothers took valproate during pregnancy had lower IQ scores compared with those exposed to other epilepsy treatments. Valproate maker Abbott Laboratories said medical providers should weigh the risk and benefits of the drug before recommending it to patients.

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