Updated guidance on the prescription of valproate for female patients during childbearing years has been published this week.

The guidance has been produced to inform all healthcare professionals of best practice around the use and prescribing of valproate and to support them to navigate situations that could arise as a result of prescribing valproate to women during childbearing years, given the significant risk of birth defects and developmental disorders that can occur if it is taken during pregnancy.

First published last year, the updated guidance reflects minor changes made by the MHRA and changes to GMC decision-making guidelines, as well as updated input from all contributing organisations, to give healthcare professionals updated practical information and guidance on prescribing valproate to women with bipolar disorder or epilepsy, the only licensed indications for its use. It has been authored by Dr Judy Shakespeare FRCGP and Dr Sanjay M Sisodiya FRCP on behalf of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Association of British Neurologists and Royal College of Physicians, and endorsed by 19 other medical organisations.

The guidance can be accessed here.

We have also added this to our updated Guidelines page.
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