Birth Defects Blamed on Epilepsy Drug


Dozens of Irish women have reported that their babies were born with significant disabilities and defects after they took an epilepsy drug while pregnant.


Two women who took Epilim before a warning label was added to packets reported having miscarriages. In almost 40 cases, most of which occurred in recent years, the reported side-effects on babies included foetal malformation, seizures, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, autism, developmental problems, premature births and behavioural issues.


In 2014 the HSE said that Epilim, a trade name for sodium valproate, could seriously harm an unborn child and told women not to take it “unless nothing else works”. There have been claims that women are still being prescribed the drug in Ireland without adequate warnings.

The Times. January 12.

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