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Can I Take Depakote While Pregnant?

Depakote® (divalproex sodium) is a prescription drug licensed to prevent migraines and to treat manic depression and epilepsy. It is approved for use in both adults and children. Many expecting mothers wonder, "Can I take Depakote while pregnant?"
Many studies have shown that Depakote may cause severe birth defects in humans. Pregnant women should not take Depakote unless absolutely necessary. However, uncontrolled epilepsy can also be dangerous to both a pregnant woman and the fetus. You and your healthcare provider must discuss the specific benefits and risks of using Depakote for your particular situation.
If your healthcare provider decides that it is okay to take Depakote during pregnancy, you will need frequent blood tests to measure your Depakote levels. Pregnancy can affect the way your body handles the drug, and it is important to keep your dose at the lowest effective level (to help protect your fetus).
(Click Depakote and Pregnancy for more information on whether it is safe to take Depakote while pregnant, to learn more about the potential risks involved, and to find out what to do if you are taking this drug and pregnancy occurs.)
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