Valproate is a drug widely prescribed for epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder. Studies have shown that prenatal exposure to valproate can cause major birth defects in one in 10 children and British researchers have found that it can raise the risk of autism. Now researchers from Emory University in Atlanta have found that it can also lower children's IQ as well. Their study found that the IQ of three-year-old children whose mothers took other valproate were six to nine points lower than that of children whose mothers took other anti-epilepsy drugs although it is not clear whether the differences continue later in life. Stopping the drug suddenly can cause seizures which also run the risk of damaging the unborn child.
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