New Epilepsy Side Effects Questionnaire Finds Children Taking Valproic Acid Have Higher Weight Scores than Those on Carbamazepine, the Consumer Justice Foundation Reports

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The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of professionals follows the mission of providing free online informational resources regarding the potential dangers of using certain prescription medications, has a Web site URL that is located at http://www.depakotebirthinjury.com. The CJF hereby reports that a new epilepsy side effects questionnaire finds that children using valproic acid, the active ingredient in Depakote, had higher weight scores than children who were using carbamazepine.

Participants on valproic acid had significantly higher scores on the Weight Scale compared to those on carbamazepine.

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a for-profit corporation whose team of consumer advocates provide free online informational resources to individuals regarding the potential risks involved with the use of certain prescription medications, hereby alerts the public of the development of a new questionnaire system that is designed to more accurately identify the potential adverse effects of using certain anticonvulsant medications by children who use them to treat the symptoms of epilepsy. The questionnaire revealed that children who used valproic acid, the active ingredient in Depakote, had higher weight scores than children who used carbamazepine.

Specifically, the questionnaire is known as the Pediatric Epilepsy Side Effects Questionnaire, or the PESQ. It was developed by Diego A. Morita, MD, Tracy A. Glauser, MD and Avani C. Modi, PhD. The new questionnaire’s details and the results of its initial implementation were published in a study entitled, “Development and validation of the Pediatric Epilepsy Side Effects Questionnaire” that appeared in Neurology on August 8, 2012.

The PESQ was introduced because it is used in a broader population of children in a diverse patient population diagnosed with several different types of epilepsy. The questionnaire also takes into account children who are going through various treatment durations and who are taking a varied selection of anticonvulsant medications. 495 children went through the initial test of the PESQ, and the side effects scores were evaluated on five separate subscales that include behavioral, cognitive, general neurological, motor, and weight measurements.

The initial report issued after implementing this new questionnaire revealed that, “[p]articipants on valproic acid had significantly higher scores on the Weight Scale compared to those on carbamazepine,” according to the abstract that was published in Neurology. Carbamazepine is sold under several brand names that include Carbatrol, Epitol and Equetro.

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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