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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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February 2018 (Vol. 28 Issue 11)

Valproate:

About the author: 

Valproate: image

Valproate is a powerful anti-epileptic drug

Valproate is a powerful anti-epileptic drug. In fact, you could say that it doesn't take prisoners.
But now researchers have discovered that it can affect the next generation, too. A study of 219 mothers who were taking valproate when they were pregnant has found that their children suffer from an impaired IQ, which seems to show up as poor verbal skills. Exposure to the drug while in the womb doubles the risk of a low IQ.
And here's the dilemma - valproate is the only drug that successfully controls epileptic fits, and frequent epileptic fits can cause the same damage to the fetus as the drug.
In cases such as this, our old maxim applies: take your chances with the disease.
(Source: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2004; 75: 1575-83).


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