Phar­ma­cists told to warn women of Val­proate risks

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE DID YOU -

STRENGTH­ENED warn­ings about the pre­scrib­ing of the medicine Val­proate — which has been linked to birth de­fects — have been is­sued to phar­ma­cists.

The Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Ire­land, which reg­u­lates phar­ma­cists, said they must in­form women of child­bear­ing age of the po­ten­tial risk of abnormal preg­nancy out­comes when sup­ply­ing medicines con­tain­ing Val­proate.

The drug is used in the man­age­ment of epilepsy or bipo­lar dis­or­der.

Phar­ma­cists need to pro­vide coun­selling and in­clud­ing a leaflet and alert card with each sup­ply of these medicines.

Niall Byrne, Regis­trar of the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety said: “We can­not over­state the im­por­tance of in­form­ing pa­tients of the risks as­so­ci­ated with medicines con­tain­ing Val­proate, which are used in the treat­ment of epilepsy and bipo­lar dis­or­der.”

The lat­est no­tice has been is­sued fol­low­ing new rec­om­men­da­tions from the Phar­ma­covig­i­lance Risk As­sess­ment Com­mit­tee this month.

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