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Pregnant Women Taking Certain Migraine Medicine Can Lower Child's IQ

Update Date: May 06, 2013 09:01 PM EDT
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The Food and Drug Administration issued new warning for pregnant women to not use migraine drugs containing valproate sodium as they have shown to lower their unborn child's IQ.

The "Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs" (NEAD) 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 medications should never be used in pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches because we have even more data now that shows the risks to the children outweigh any treatment benefits for this use," FDA's Director of the Division of Neurology Products, Russell Katz said, according to the statement.

According to the report, the FDA warned pregnant women to be aware that valproate is found in medicine commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, treat epileptic seizures and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

The recommendations are based on results from the NEAD study which 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. The difference in average IQ between the children who had been exposed to valproate and the children who had been exposed to other antiepileptic drugs varied between 8 and 11 points depending on the antiepileptic drug.

The FDA recommends women talk to their doctor before discontinuing their medication. To find out more about this drug and its effects, check out the Food and Drug Administration's website for more information. Click here

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