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alternative migraine treatment los angeles

Pregnant Women Who Take Migraine Drug Valproate Could Lower Child’s IQ

The government is warning pregnant women to avoid using migraine drugs that contain valproate.

Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of drugs containing valproate for migraine headaches, epileptic seizures, and manic episodes of bipolar disorder, recent findings show they may cause cognitive birth defects.

A recent study by Dr. Kimford Meador and colleagues, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that prenatal exposure to valproate-containing drugs increases the risk of childhood autism and, relatedly, negatively impacts the IQ scores of children.

The research has not established specific time points within a pregnancy that valproate exposure can have the most effect. However, if the migraine drug is affecting cognitive development, and perhaps causing mental retardation, the FDA is taking a necessary precaution to forewarn mothers of the drug’s effects on their children.

The FDA is currently working with manufacturers who package valproate-containing drugs to ensure this new warning is reflected on labels. In the meantime, women with these conditions are urged to seek alternative treatments for pain to avoid the harmful side effects on their unborn children.

While Pasadena Pain Management doesn’t promote the use of medications to treat pain, we realize prescription painkillers are unavoidable for treating some cases of migraine and head pain. Contact us today to find out if you’re a candidate for alternative migraine and headache treatment at Pasadena Pain Management.


Pasadena Pain Management in Pasadena CA offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain caused by dental imbalances.  Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.