HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 c474W
Sir Nicholas Lyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received concerning the effects of prescribing sodium valproate to epileptics during pregnancy; and if he will make a statement. [63944]

Ms Jowell

We are not currently aware of any representations concerning the effects of prescribing sodium valproate to people with epilepsy during pregnancy. Risks to the foetus are recognised for anticonvulsant therapies and information about whether and how to use medicines in pregnant patients can be found in the authorised product information for health professionals and patients. Women taking antiepileptic drugs who may become pregnant should be informed of the possible consequences. Those who wish to become pregnant should be referred to an appropriate specialist for advice. Women who become pregnant should be counselled and offered antenatal screening. The risks of epileptic control need to be weighed against the risks to the foetus of these treatments.