The RPS has welcomed new guidelines announced today by the MHRA to help prevent harm to women taking sodium valproate.
- All women of childbearing age taking part in a pregnancy prevention programme
- Women to be reviewed once a year by their specialist
- Packaging changes to show the risks of taking valproate during pregnancy
- Risk assessment to be simultaneously completed by prescriber and patient
- Card on packaging to remind pharmacists to discuss risks with women when dispensing
The RPS has worked with the MHRA and a variety of stakeholders to produce clear, up to date information leaflets for patients which are available from today (LINK).
RPS President Ash Soni said:
“The RPS fully supports these new measures implemented today by the MHRA (LINK) to ensure women understand the risks of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy. They must get the right information from health professionals in order to make informed choices about their health and parenting options.
“Valproate is an effective medicine and women should never suddenly stop taking it without talking to a health professional. Pharmacists are ideally placed to give information and support when providing sodium valproate and are committed to reducing harm from medicines, enabling women to make the choices that are right for them.”
RPS will update its guidance once the MHRA publishes its updated resources for health professionals in May.(1, 2)
- RPS Guidance for members: https://www.rpharms.com/resources/quick-reference-guides/dispensing-valproate-for-girls-and-women
- RCGP/RPS/MHRA video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNv-BG-bgF0