FDA Warns Pregnant Women Should Stay Away From Certain Migraine Medications

5:11 PM, May 6, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON D.C. (WUSA9) -- The FDA is strengthening their warnings to pregnant woman to not use valproate products during pregnancy. This is a result of a recently published study.

The "Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs" study found that "children exposed to valproate products in utero had decreased IQ at age 6, when compared to children who were exposed to other antiepileptic drugs."

Valproate products have been FDA approved for use for prevention of migraine headaches, treatment of epilepsy and other mental disorders.

"Valproate medications should never be used in pregnant woman for the prevention of migraine headaches because we have even more data now that how the risks to the children outweigh any treatment benefits for this use," said Russel Katz, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. 

The FDA advises those pregnant women who are already taking valproate to consult with a physician. Stopping immediately could lead to severe, life-threatening medical problems.

Manufacturers are working with the FDA to change the labeling on the products to reflect the new findings.