SILVER SPRING, Md. — Pregnant women should not use migraine-prevention medications containing valproate sodium due to a higher risk of decreased IQ scores in children, the Food and Drug Administration warned Monday.
In addition to being used to prevent migraines, valproate drugs are used for treating epilepsy and bipolar disorder and include related drugs such as divalproex sodium and valproic acid. Most are available in generic form as well as under brand names like AbbVie's Depacon and Depakote and others.
Drugs containing the drug already have a boxed warning — the strongest FDA-mandated warning on a drug label — for risks to unborn fetuses, including birth defects, but the latest warning is based on a recent study tying use of the drugs to lower IQ scores in children, the FDA said.