Valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme: temporary advice for management during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced potential for face to face clinic appointments due to shielding, the MHRA has made some temporary amendments to the pregnancy prevention programme for valproate products.

SPS commentary:

For initiation in women of childbearing potential a face to face consultation (with appropriate social distancing) is required, except where the patient is shielding, where a remote consultation should be considered based on an individual risk assessment.


Annual reviews should not be delayed due to the pandemic, and no woman or girl should stop taking valproate without first discussing it with their doctor.  Specialist prescribers should undertake video virtual consultation (preferably) or telephone consultation (if video is not possible) with the patient in line with the process detailed on the MHRA link.


For pregnancy testing, where face-to-face consultation is not possible and pregnancy testing is required, home pregnancy testing could be acceptable, at the discretion of the clinician, provided certain criteria are met (details on the MHRA link)


Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency