Should valproate be taken during pregnancy?

Eadie, Mervyn J. and Vajda, Frank J. E. (2005) Should valproate be taken during pregnancy?. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 1 1: 21-26.

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Author Eadie, Mervyn J.
Vajda, Frank J. E.
Title Should valproate be taken during pregnancy?
Journal name Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1176-6336
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 1
Issue 1
Start page 21
End page 26
Total pages 6
Editor G. Walsh
Place of publication Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher Dove Medical Press
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject 320503 Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
730104 Nervous system and disorders
Abstract The Australian Registry of Antiepileptic Drug Use in Pregnancy includes 172 instances in which women took sodium valproate, with or without other antiepileptic drugs, during pregnancy. These pregnancies resulted in a substantially higher (p < 0.05) rate of malformed offspring (15.1%) compared with 348 pregnant women who took antiepileptic drugs other than valproate (2.3%) and 40 pregnancies in epileptic women who took no antiepileptic drugs (2.5%). At valproate doses of 1400 mg and below per day, the mean rate of pregnancies with fetal malformations was 6.42% and did not seem to be dose-dependent. At higher valproate doses, the mean rate of pregnancy with fetal malformation was 33.9% and appeared to increase with increasing drug dosage. This finding suggests the need for reappraisal of the use of valproate in women who may become pregnant or are pregnant whilst the drug is taken. The therapeutic policy adopted may depend on whether valproate doses below 1400 mg per day are regarded as safe for the fetus. This study indicates that the risk of malformation associated with such doses was just statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher than that associated with other antiepileptic drugs. Various possible clinical scenarios are discussed.
Keyword Epilepsy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2006 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:48:52 EST