Study Reveals that Prenatal Exposure to Valproate, the Active Ingredient in Depakote, Has Negative Impact in Children’s IQ, the Consumer Justice Foundation Reports

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose web site URL can be found at http://www.depakotebirthinjury.com, is a team of professional consumer advocates providing free online informational resources regarding the potential dangers of certain prescription medications. The CJF hereby reports the results of a study that concluded that prenatal exposure to valproate, the active ingredient in Depakote, led to a negative impact on the IQs of the children of those mothers when compared to three other commonly used anticonvulsant medications.

The findings at 6 years of age confirm our previous findings at 3 years that children exposed to valproate have lower IQs than the other 3 drug groups.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professional consumer advocates provides free online informational resources regarding the potential dangers of certain prescription medications, hereby reports the results of a study that concerned the prenatal exposure to valproate, which is the active ingredient in Depakote. The study revealed that the children born of mothers who were exposed to valproate suffered from lower IQs than the children of mothers exposed to three other commonly prescribed anticonvulsant medications.

Specifically, the study at issue is known as the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study. The study was led by Kimford Meador, MD, from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The study spanned six years and compared children who had experienced prenatal exposure to valproate, the active ingredient in Depakote, to children exposed to carbamazepine, phenytoin, and lamotrigine.

The study included the participation of more than 300 women and it was conducted at 25 health centers across the United States and Europe between the years of 1999 and 2004. The study concluded that children who were exposed to valproate while in the womb had an adjusted mean IQ of 99. Those children exposed to carbamazepine registered a mean IQ of 105. Those exposed to lamotrigine registered at 108 and those exposed to phenytoin registered at 106.

The results of the study were presented by Dr. Meador at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 64th Annual Meeting, which was held this week in New Orleans. "The findings at 6 years of age confirm our previous findings at 3 years that children exposed to valproate have lower IQs than the other 3 drug groups. In addition, we found valproate was associated with lower executive function, memory, verbal, and nonverbal abilities, and that these effects were dose dependent, but we didn't see any dose-dependent effects for the other drugs,” Dr. Meador said.

About the Consumer Justice Foundation

The Consumer Justice Foundation, whose Web site is located at http://www.consumerjusticefoundation.com, 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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