The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published a summary of all available recommendations and safety advice on valproate for health care professionals.
The summary succeeds a series of recommendations on the use of valproate issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the past year. The MHRA has banned the use of valproate in women of child-bearing potential unless they are participating in a pregnancy prevention programme. The offspring of women using valproate during pregnancy have a significant risk for birth defects (1 in 10 babies at risk) and developmental disorders (4 in 10 babies at risk).
Along with the NICE's current guideline recommendations, the summary document collates data and safe prescribing advice from other sources including the MHRA safety alerts, British National Formulary information, and products data and information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: "This summary recognises the importance of a single cross-disciplinary valproate guideline to support healthcare professionals from all disciplines in the safe use of valproate."