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Important Information for Women Who Could Become Pregnant About the Use of DEPAKOTE, DEPAKOTE ER, DEPAKOTE Sprinkle Capsules, and DEPAKENE (valproic acid) .
Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any of these medications. This leaflet provides a summary of important information about taking these medications to women who could become pregnant. If you have any questions or concerns, or want more information about these medications, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Information for Women Who Could Become Pregnant
These medications can be obtained only by prescription from your doctor. The decision to use any of these medications is one that you and your doctor should make together, taking into account your individual needs and medical condition.
Before using any of these medications, women who can become pregnant should consider the fact that these medications have been associated with birth defects, in particular, with spina bifida and other defects related to failure of the spinal canal to close normally. Approximately 1 to 2% of children born to women with epilepsy taking DEPAKOTE in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy had these defects (based on data from the Centers for Disease Control, a U.S. agency based in Atlanta). The incidence in the general population is 0.1 to 0.2%.
These medications have also been associated with other birth defects such as defects of the heart, the bones, and other parts of the body. Information suggests that birth defects may be more likely to occur with these medications than some other drugs that treat your medical condition.
Information for Women Who Are Planning to Get Pregnant
- Women taking any of these medications who are planning to get pregnant should discuss the treatment options with their doctor.
Information for Women Who Become Pregnant
- If you become pregnant while taking any of these medications you should contact your doctor immediately.
Other Important Information
- Your medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor to get the most benefit from your medication and reduce the risk of side effects.
- If you have taken more than the prescribed dose of your medication, contact your hospital emergency room or local poison center immediately.
- Your medication was prescribed for your particular condition. Do not use it for another condition or give the drug to others.
Facts About Birth Defects
It is important to know that birth defects may occur even in children of individuals not taking any medications or without any additional risk factors.
This summary provides important information about the use of DEPAKOTER, DEPAKOTER ER, DEPAKOTER Sprinkle Capsules, and DEPAKENE (valproic acid) R to women who could become pregnant. If you would like more information about the other potential risks and benefits of these medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist to let you read the professional labeling and then discuss it with them. If you have any questions or concerns about taking these medications, you should discuss them with your doctor.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/24/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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