Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!


Alert on epilepsy drug after link to birth defects proven
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Young and pregnant women are being warned not to take the epilepsy drug valproate—marketed as Epilim, Depakine, Depakote and Stavzor—because it's likely to cause birth defects in the newborn. 'Serious malformations' have been reported in up to 4,100 children born in France alone.

Although valproate's risks of causing defects, and especially spina bifida, have been known since the 1980s, drug regulators have been slow to act, and some of the drug's victims say the manufacturer, Sanofi, has not issued strong warnings.

France's drug regulator, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines, has reported that between 2,150 and 4,100 children have been born with serious defects, such as spina bifida, and heart and genital problems. The risk of autism and other developmental problems was also higher in women taking the drug while they were pregnant. "The study confirms the high teratogenic (ability to cause birth defects) nature of valproate," says Mahmoud Zureik, the agency's scientific director.

Some families whose children were born with birth defects are suing Sanofi, and are claiming warnings about possible risks were inadequate.

The drugs are prescribed to treat bipolar disorder as well as epilepsy. Women with bipolar were less likely to give birth to a child with defects than a woman with epilepsy, although the risk was still twice as high as someone not taking the drug.


(Source: BBC, April 20, 2017)

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved