The Consumer Justice Foundation Alerts the Public to Survey Results Indicating that Using Hormonal Birth Control and Valproate Exacerbates Epileptic Seizures in Women

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site URL can be found at, is a for-profit corporation staffed by a team of professional consumer advocates whose mission is to provide information for consumers concerning the potential dangers of certain prescription medications by way of free online educational resources. The CJF hereby alerts the public of the results of a survey concerning women who used hormonal birth control methods in conjunction with different epilepsy medications. The survey’s results revealed that women who used hormonal birth control methods in conjunction with valproate, the active ingredient in Depakote, experienced an exacerbation in their epileptic seizures.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose mission is to provide consumers with important information regarding the potential risks faced by using certain prescription medications, hereby alerts the public to the results of a survey completed by Kristen M. Fowler, R.N., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. The survey, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, concerned the use of hormonal contraceptives by women with epilepsy and their potential interaction with antiepileptic medications that may have led to an exacerbation of their seizures.

Specifically, this survey was an online survey entitled the “Epilepsy Birth Control Registiry” and it invited women to answer questions regarding their use of contraceptives and antiepileptic medications. The survey included women who were between the ages of 18 and 47, who had epilepsy and who were using some form of birth control.

The results of this survey revealed that women who were taking valproate, the active ingredient in Depakote, faced a high risk of exacerbated epileptic seizures if they were also using a hormonal contraceptive. Specifically, 44% of those who responded reported this exacerbation, as compared to only 8% of women who were using non-hormonal contraceptives.

This survey should alert women who are taking Depakote to deal with their epileptic seizures to speak to their doctors before beginning to use a hormonal birth control strategy. This survey could add to the potential risks already associated with this medication, including the risk of Depakote birth defects forming in children of mothers who use this medication during the early stages of pregnancy as warned by the FDA.

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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