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Old 01-24-2018, 01:31 PM
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Default Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'

Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'
Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal' - BBC News
An MP has said the harm caused to children after their mothers were given the epilepsy drug sodium valproate is an "extraordinary scandal".

It is thought about 20,000 children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s.

Norman Lamb MP said it was also "extraordinarily distressing" new research suggested medical problems could be passed through generations.

Affected families have called for a public inquiry and compensation.

Sodium valproate, also known as Epilim, can be prescribed by doctors as a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

It carries a risk of causing physical abnormalities, autism, low IQ and learning disabilities if babies are exposed to the drug while in the womb.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the drug is "kept under constant review", while the Department of Health said it expects the MHRA to take further action if a review finds more can be done to highlight the risks associated with it.

Many parents have claimed they were not made aware of the risks from taking the treatment while pregnant, even after new safety warnings were introduced in 2016.

Sue Jenkinson, from Liverpool, took the drug while she was pregnant and both of her two daughters developed foetal valproate syndrome.

They have since had their own children and they believe they are showing signs of the condition, despite neither taking valproate during their own pregnancies.

"It's because I took that medication, that's why my kids haven't got a normal life and they struggle every single day of their lives," Ms Jenkinson said.

Her grandson Ryan has medical problems including dyspraxia, learning difficulties and a bowel condition, and is being monitored by Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology Gus Baker.

Prof Baker said he is currently identifying Ryan's "strengths and weaknesses" and "trying to map them on to what we understand about sodium valproate and how it affects children".

"I'll probably be in a good position to provide a formulation of what I think has happened to him and what we might be able to do to ameliorate those difficulties that he is clearly having," he said. ...
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'

I hope a complete investigation is done into this medication.

I can't speak for the UK's methods of drug trials or disclosure of side effects, but if their Big Pharma is anything like our Big Pharma (and some are one and the same) then they will likely not receive the help and/or satisfaction they deserve if this proves out.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'

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Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'
Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal' - BBC News
An MP has said the harm caused to children after their mothers were given the epilepsy drug sodium valproate is an "extraordinary scandal".

It is thought about 20,000 children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s.

Norman Lamb MP said it was also "extraordinarily distressing" new research suggested medical problems could be passed through generations.

Affected families have called for a public inquiry and compensation.

Sodium valproate, also known as Epilim, can be prescribed by doctors as a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

It carries a risk of causing physical abnormalities, autism, low IQ and learning disabilities if babies are exposed to the drug while in the womb.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the drug is "kept under constant review", while the Department of Health said it expects the MHRA to take further action if a review finds more can be done to highlight the risks associated with it.

Many parents have claimed they were not made aware of the risks from taking the treatment while pregnant, even after new safety warnings were introduced in 2016.

Sue Jenkinson, from Liverpool, took the drug while she was pregnant and both of her two daughters developed foetal valproate syndrome.

They have since had their own children and they believe they are showing signs of the condition, despite neither taking valproate during their own pregnancies.

"It's because I took that medication, that's why my kids haven't got a normal life and they struggle every single day of their lives," Ms Jenkinson said.

Her grandson Ryan has medical problems including dyspraxia, learning difficulties and a bowel condition, and is being monitored by Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology Gus Baker.

Prof Baker said he is currently identifying Ryan's "strengths and weaknesses" and "trying to map them on to what we understand about sodium valproate and how it affects children".

"I'll probably be in a good position to provide a formulation of what I think has happened to him and what we might be able to do to ameliorate those difficulties that he is clearly having," he said. ...
In the US it's probably better known as Depakote and has several indications but I'm not sure how often it is prescribed primarily as an anti-convulsant. It now has varied uses including a mood stabilizer for bipolar. There would be other problems to sort out to determine if valproate is a culprit. The chances are high that expecting moms were also taking other drugs in combination. Another major concern is the primary diagnosis of bipolar or bipolar II and the lack of validity, and why the mom was on the med to begin with. It's interesting that another anti-seizure drug, Lamictal, has also found its way into the Psych tool kit as a "mood stabilizer".
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