Many healthcare providers consider valproic acid safe to use during breastfeeding, since previous studies suggest that the medicine poses little risk to the breastfed infant. If you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding and valproic acid has been prescribed, tell your healthcare provider. The two of you can make a shared decision about valproic acid and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Valproic Acid and Breastfeeding: An Overview
Valproic acid (Depakene®) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy. Because the medication passes through breast milk, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding, you should make sure to let your healthcare provider know.
Valproic Acid and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Research has shown that valproic acid passes through breast milk in humans. Although the full risks are not known, most documented cases suggest that there is little risk to the breastfed infant. As a result, many healthcare providers consider the medication to be safe for use during breastfeeding. Still, if your healthcare provider recommends taking valproic acid while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child.
Valproic Acid and Breastfeeding: Final Thoughts
It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about valproic acid and breastfeeding. Everyone's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about valproic acid and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Depakene [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2006 October.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 31, 2007.
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