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Yesterday the FDA notified healthcare professionals about an increased risk of neural tube defects and other major birth defects. Healthcare professionals should warn women of child bearing age about these potential birth defect risks and consider possible alternative therapies for the treatment of migraines and other non-life-threatening conditions.

Valproate should only be used in women of childbearing when it is necessary to manage their medical condition.

Women of childbearing potential should only use valproate if it is essential to manage their medical condition. Those who are not actively planning a pregnancy should use effective contraception, as birth defect risks are particularly high during the first trimester, before many women know they are pregnant.

Pregnant women using valproate should enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry at www.aedpregnancyregistry.org

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