Valproate prescription prevalence among women of childbearing age

Katherine L. Wisner, Emily Leckman-Westin, Molly Finnerty, Susan M. Essock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: Valproate is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome as well as congenital malformations and developmental delays of infants who were prenatally exposed. The frequency of valproate use for mental health conditions among women of childbearing age was determined. Methods: Using New York State Medicaid claims for persons with psychiatric disorders, 40,526 individuals with active prescriptions for mood stabilizers (non-antipsychotic) on May 1, 2009, were identified. Chi square tests were used to compare valproate use among women of childbearing age with similarly aged men and older women. Results: Valproate was the most commonly prescribed agent for young women (23.4%). Men were more likely than women, and older women more likely than younger women, to take valproate. Conclusions: Over 20% of childbearing-aged women receiving mood stabilizers were treated with valproate, although increasing data on the reproductive toxicity of this agent compel consideration of other non-antipsychotic mood stabilizers as first-line choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-220
Number of pages3
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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