UK survey finds many women still unaware of risks around use of valproate in pregnancy

The survey of 514 women taking valproate found 11% were unaware use during pregnancy can cause birth defects and 18% were unaware of potential risks of learning/developmental problems. Almost half (44%) had not discussed risks with health professionals during the last 12 months.

SPS commentary:

The survey also found that less than half of the women (46%) who responded had received the 'Prevent: valproate pregnancy prevention' card, 42% had received the Prevent booklet and 75% had received the patient information leaflet. In total, 11% of respondents had not received any of the Pregnancy Prevention Programme material, and lack of awareness of the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy was higher among this group.


Just under half of respondents (49%) had no discussion with their pharmacist about the risks associated with valproate during pregnancy, with only 14% having this discussion every time they collected a prescription.


Epilepsy Action