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Paternal exposure to valproate drugs in the period prior to conception: neurodevelopmental disorders in children?

Prescrire International

● When taken by the mother during pregnancy, valproate drugs are teratogenic and carry a risk of serious disorders of neurodevelopment and psychomotor development in childhood.
● In 2023, the French Health Products Agency (ANSM) reported the summarised results of a study based on data from 3 Scandinavian countries suggesting that children whose father had taken a valproate drug within the 3 months prior to conception (i.e. during the period of spermatogenesis) were at higher risk of developing a neurodevelopmental disorder, including autism spectrum disorder, than children whose father had been exposed to lamotrigine or levetiracetam.

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