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According to a new study, valproate is also bad for the unborn child when it is the dad who is treated before conception. Explanations.

Valproate is a controversial drug. This molecule (mainly used in the treatment of epilepsy, and which consists of the active ingredient of Depakine®) is now known to multiply by 4 or 5 the risk of early neurodevelopmental disorders in children who were exposed to it in utero.

But it’s not just mums who are affected by this information: according to the results of a new study, carried out over a long period in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, future dads should also avoid drugs containing of valproate.

A higher risk of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders

Indeed: according to the researchers, there would be “an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, in children whose fathers were exposed to valproate” during the 3 months preceding conception.

This risk varies between 5.6% and 6.3% in children born to fathers exposed to valproate. (…) As a reminder, this risk of neurodevelopmental disorders is around 30% to 40% after maternal exposure to valproate.

The researchers then carried out a comparison with two other anti-epileptic drugs: lamotrigine (Lamictal®) and levetiracetam (Keppra®). Result: when the fathers were treated with these drugs during the 3 months preceding pregnancy, the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in the child was between 2.5% and 3.6%.

Source :National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM)

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