Valproate Side Effects

Have you been advised to take Valproate for certain conditions? Are you wondering whether it is the right drug for you? Before taking any medication it is always prudent to know its side effects so that you are better equipped to deal with any eventuality which may come your way.

Valproate Side Effects

Valproate or Valproic acid is prescribed to treat certain types of seizures. It is sold in the market as Stavzor, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakote ER, Depakote DR, Depakote and Depakene. Valproic acid can trigger the following side effects, requiring immediate medical attention:

  • Vomiting
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shaking of the hands or feet
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Shivering
  • Paranoia
  • Muscles aches and pains
  • Fever
  • Dementia
  • Delusions
  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • Bloating or swelling of the face, feet, lower legs or arms
  • Bleeding gums
  • Black, tarry stools

Valproate or Valproate Acid, marketed by Abbot Laborotories by the name of DepakoteĀ® as well, is used as an effective treatment for epilepsy. It has proven to be an effective drug for this condition; however, using any medication is not without its risks. Typical Valproate side effects include but are not limited to:

  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • hair loss
  • weight gain, and
  • slowed thinking

Although some risks are associated with the use of any drug, unfortunately, the use of valproate in pregnant women has shown some very worrying results. According to a study reported by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a United Kingdom researcher reported that out of 196 pregnant women treated with valporic acid, 9 had babies born with a condition called Spina Bfida, which is about 5 %.

Spina Bfida is a birth defect which arises due to the spinal column not closing completely while the child is in the womb. Hence the name Spina Bfida i.e. Split spine. This is the most common disabling birth defect in the United States.

Such statistics are a cause of concern. Studies from Italy and France have also shown that expectant mother treated with volproate do carry a risk of giving birth to babies with Spina Bfida. As a result of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also published a safety alert on the risks of birth defects associated with the use of volproate. The alert addresses health care professionals and patients and warns them about the increased risk of babies being born with serious birth defects if they have been exposed to valproate sodium and other related products. Health care professionals are asked to warn expectant mothers about the risk and use alternative medication if possible. Especially if the medication is being taken for a reason for which alternative therapies are available.

If you believe you were treated with valporate acid unnecessarily while you were pregnant and this is the reason that your child is suffering from a birth defect, you must contact a lawyer immediately and consider your options. The law may be able to help you get compensation for the wrong done to you and this may help you a great deal in dealing with the condition in the future.

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