We know that many doctors advise and prescribe Folic Acid to women taking anti-convulsant medications for any condition, as it is thought to help avoid any Neural Tube defects, Spina Bifida etc..
However latest research shows that this may not be the case, especially when being prescribed Sodium Valproate. Information was first noted in 2010:
Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2010 Aug;19(8):803-7. doi: 10.1002/pds.1975.
Does folic acid use decrease the risk for spina bifida after in utero exposure to valproic acid?
“While folic acid might not be able to reduce the risk for lower spina bifida lesions caused by VPA, the use of folic acid might be important to reduce the risk for higher, folic acid sensitive spina bifida lesions. Further research is needed to get more insight in the most effective form and dose of FA in women that use VPA to reduce the risk for (higher forms of) spina bifida.”
Journal Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009; 80: 506-511 doi:10. 1136/jnnp2008 156109
Folic Acid use and Major Congenital Malformations in Offspring of Women with Epilepsy: A Prospective Stud from the UK Epilepsy & Pregnancy Register.
J I Morrow, S J Hunt, AJ Russell et al..
“The study supports the view that extrapolation from studies carried out in the general population to groups of women with Epilepsy may be questionable. It may be that the increased risk of MCM recorded in this group occurs through mechanisms other than that of Folic Acid”
Although more research is needed in this area, we ask women to approach with caution and discuss this at length with their Clinician, Gynecologist, Midwife and/or GP.