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Atlanta Mothers Beware: Depakote Linked to Low I.Q. Scores in Children

The New Journal of Medicine has learned that children whose mother’s took Depakote before birth had notably lower I.Q. scores than children whose mother’s took other types of anti-seizure medication during pregnancy. New York Times also reported that three year old children who were exposed to valproate, the generic form of Depakote, while in the womb had I.Q. scores that were nine points lesser than three year olds who were exposed to lamotrigine.

For most infants, I.Q. scores were related to their mothers’ I.Q. scores but not when it came to the children who were exposed to vaproate. Thus the researchers concluded, “In utero exposure to valproate was associated with poorer congnitive outcomes than was exposure to other commonly used antiepileptic drugs.” What’s more, the result of valproate on the children’s I.Q. depended on the amount taken. These findings are similar to the findings of researchers in the United Kingdom.

Researchers have also found that Depakote use has shown an increase in congenital malformations in comparison with other antiepileptic medications. Another study found that the use of valproic acid by pregnant women in their first trimesters is linked with spina bifida. Other birth defects associated with valproic acid were atrial spetal, cleft palate, and craniosynostosis.