Autism Linked to Mood-Stabilizing Drug Taken during Pregnancy

A new study revealed that when pregnant women take valproate (known commercially as Depacon), a mood-stabilizing drug, they increase the risk of childhood autism and its spectrum disorders in their children.

The population-based study, published on April 24 in The Journal of the American Medical Association was conducted by Dr. Jakob Christensen of Denmark's Aarhus University Hospital, and included all 655,615 children born in Denmark from 1996 through 2006.

Dr. Christensen's findings suggest that in-utero exposure to valproate is  associated with a five-times elevated risk of autism and three-times elevated risk for autism spectrum disorders.

Valproate is used to treat seizure-disorders, migraines, and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

If you're concerned about your health or the health of your unborn child, talk to your doctor before taking any medications. 

Read more about this study here.