Pregnant? Know This Before You Take Depakote
One of the major side effects of Depakote is the increased risk of foetal abnormality. Animal studies have revealed increased incidences of embyrofetoxicity. This is not only an important consideration for those who are prescribed this Scheduled H drug, but also for those who are breast feeding. Depakote birth defects include:
- Craniofacial deformities
- Cardiovascular malfunctioning
- Hepatic failures
- Increased possibility of lower cognition
The reason Depakote poses these problems for those who are pregnant is because of the chief component- divalproex sodium. The drug metabolises in a way as to pass into the maternal serum. From here it is absorbed into the amniotic fluid. Being a cushioning agent, the fluid in turn harmfully affects the foetus during the gestation period. For those women who take this anti-seizure medication, the risk of tubal abnormalities are significantly higher. In fact, the FDA has found that in test conducted on 52 women, at least 5 reported the effect of foetal neural tube defects.
Scientific observations suspect that the medication works in a way as to alter the structure of the matrix. This leads to an issue of reduced mitosis or cell division. In the case of embryonic health, this poses a serious problem as the development of various organs and tissue structures stand at a risk of being stunted.
While there are further studies that show that foetal abnormalities can be curbed by use of prenatal multivitamins, chances are that the side effects of Depakote tend towards abnormalities and defects far more than benefits. For those who cannot function optimally without this class of drugs, it is advisable to consult both the neurosurgeon and the gynaecologist to seek alternatives to divalproex sodium. The use of divalproex is not recommended during pregnancy and in case one becomes pregnant while on Depakote, care must be taken during withdrawal as sudden cessation might bring with it nervous complications.