Sodium Valproate Causing Physical Abnormalities, Autism, Low IQ and Learning Disabilities Across Generations


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An MP has said the harm caused to children after their mothers were given the epilepsy drug sodium valproate is an “extraordinary scandal”.

It is thought about 20,000 children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s.

Norman Lamb MP said it was also “extraordinarily distressing” new research suggested medical problems could be passed through generations.

Affected families have called for a public inquiry and compensation.

Sodium valproate, also known as Epilim, can be prescribed by doctors as a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

It carries a risk of causing physical abnormalities, autism, low IQ and learning disabilities if babies are exposed to the drug while in the womb.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the drug is “kept under constant review”, while the Department of Health said it expects the MHRA to take further action if a review finds more can be done to highlight the risks associated with it.

Many parents have claimed they were not made aware of the risks from taking the treatment while pregnant, even after new safety warnings were introduced in 2016.

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