May 8, 2013 Leave a comment
Valproate Sodium Lowers IQ in Addition to Increasing Risk of Birth Defects
In a shocking development that caught the entire nation off-guard, the FDA announced this week that approximately a half-dozen migraine headache drugs can decrease children’s intelligence and intellectual capacity if the drugs are taken while the mother is pregnant with the child.
For anyone wondering, the first line did invoke the use of sarcasm, as it has long been my understanding that when pregnant women use drugs, the result as it pertains to the baby developing inside her womb is typically not good. For whatever reason, the FDA was a couple of decades behind the curve in figuring this out.
The drugs, which all contained valproate sodium include such drugs as Depakote and Depacon. While these drugs already came with a warning of birth defects when taken by women who are pregnant, the FDA is adding an additional warning stating essentially that in addition to an increased risk of birth defects, that these drugs also have the potential to reduce the child’s intellectual capacity, or IQ.
As a general rule, many women avoid all medications – prescription and over-the-counter alike our of an abundance of precaution and a desire to avoid taking any chances by taking any substances that could potentially have an adverse effect on their unborn children.
Prescription and OTC drugs are not the same thing as vitamins and nutritional supplements. It is recommended that most pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement while pregnant to ensure that both mother and child are receiving the optimal nutrition the child needs to develop properly and the mother needs to provide an environment that is suitable for optimal fetal development.
If unsure about a prescription or OTC drug while pregnant, check with your doctor. As a general rule though, if you can do without it, don’t take it if it’s a drug. As for prenatal vitamins, talk to your doctor about those too, but the discussion should be oriented around what you should take and in what dosage, not whether or not it should be taken at all.