The Consumer Justice Foundation Alerts the Public to the Results of a Danish Study Indicating Fetal Exposure to Valproate Nearly Three Times More Likely to Develop Autism

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site URL can be found at, is a for-profit corporation that’s staffed by professional consumer advocates whose mission is to alert consumers of the dangers associated with certain prescription medications. The CJF hereby alerts the public of the results of a new Danish study that concluded that children who are exposed to valproate, which is the active ingredient in Depakote, face nearly three times the risk of developing autism than children whose mothers do not use this epilepsy medication during the early stages of pregnancy.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose mission is to provide the public with free online resources regarding the dangers of using certain prescription medications, hereby alert the public of the results of a Danish study concerning epilepsy medications. This study concluded that children who are exposed to valproate, which is the active ingredient in Depakote, are nearly three times more likely than children who are not exposed to this substance during pregnancy to develop autism. Jakob Christensen, M.D., from the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark was the lead researcher in the study.

Specifically, a recap of this Danish study appeared in the US News and World Report on December 5, 2011. The study tracked data related to more than 650,000 births in Denmark between the years of 1996 and 2006 and then compared those birth results to the Danish national prescription drug registry. They specifically searched for mothers who had used valproate during the first trimester of their pregnancies and tracked those results.

Their findings indicated that 508 children were exposed to valproate while their mothers were pregnant with them, and 14 of those children developed autism. This number was nearly three times as high as the number of children whose mothers did not use valproate while pregnant, as 0.8 percent of those children developed this condition. These findings are set to be presented Monday at the American Epilepsy Society meeting in Baltimore.

Valproate is the active ingredient in the epilepsy drug known as Depakote, and this study will add to the discussion of alleged Depakote side effects that generally center on the risks faced by children whose mothers used Depakote during the early stages of pregnancy. Depakote side effects that have been alleged to this point have not included autism.
About the Consumer Justice Foundation

The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site is located at, is a public resource that's been built and maintained by a group of concerned professionals who want to provide general information for consumers regarding the potential dangers involved with the use of Depakote while pregnant. This resource is not to be considered as medical or legal advice, which should only be dispensed by a licensed medical doctor or a Depakote lawyer.


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Faith Anderson
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