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Valproic acid (VPA) is commonly used in the treatment of epilepsy due to its broad range of anticonvulsant activity and relative freedom from side-effects. It is also used in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder. Although, its teratogenic effects are well known, the exact mechanism by which it causes these effects is unclear. This review summarises the range of adverse effects that may be seen in Fetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS), the postulated theories for the mechanism of teratogenesis and guidelines for the management of women with epilepsy.

Original publication




Journal article


Paediatric and Perinatal Drug Therapy

Publication Date





123 - 130