Valproate prescribing practices for women with intellectual disability across Europe.
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BACKGROUND: Valproate (VPA) is a known teratogen associated with greater risk of major congenital malformations and other neurodevelopmental sequelae than all other licensed antiepileptic medicines. To reduce the potential for VPA-related teratogenicity, the European Medicines Agency issued recommendations in 2018. Over two-thirds of women/girls with intellectual disability (ID) may have treatment-resistant epilepsy that could benefit from VPA treatment. AIMS: This investigation compared VPA prescribing practice for women/girls with ID between European countries, specifically evaluating the practice in the UK with that in other countries. METHODS: An expert working group with representation from key stake-holding organizations developed a survey for dissemination to relevant professionals across Europe. RESULTS: Seventy one responses were received (27 UK, 44 Europe). Clinicians in the UK were more likely to report that they are working to mandatory regulations compared with European respondents (P = .015). European respondents were less likely to be aware of user-independent contraception options (P = .06). In The UK, VPA regulations were more likely to be applied to women with ID than in Europe (P = .024). CONCLUSION: There is heterogeneity in the application of VPA regulations across Europe for women/girls with ID. In both the UK and Europe, the regulations lack suitable adjustments for specific ID-related factors.
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