Updated guidance on valproate use in women and girls of childbearing years is published

This guidance, updated in December 2020 and endorsed by RCPCH, has been produced to inform all healthcare professionals of best practice around the use and prescribing of valproate. It supports them to navigate situations that could arise as a result of prescribing valproate to women during childbearing years, given the significant risk of birth defects and developmental disorders that can occur if it is taken during pregnancy.

First published last year, the updated guidance reflects minor changes made by the MHRA and changes to GMC decision-making guidelines, as well as updated input from all contributing organisations, to give healthcare professionals updated practical information and guidance on prescribing valproate to women with bipolar disorder or epilepsy, the only licensed indications for its use. 

This guidance has been produced on behalf of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Association of British Neurologists and Royal College of Physicians, and endorsed by RCPCH among other professional bodies. 

You can download the full guidance from the RCGP website, and it's also available as a resource on this website.