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Appointment of Sodium Valproate Chair welcomed in Dáil

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Deputy Rose Conway Walsh and Minister Stephen Donelly

Yesterday marked a significant milestone for families affected by Sodium Valproate in Ireland, with the appointment of an independent Chair for the inquiry which will investigate the historical licensing and prescribing of Sodium Valproate in Ireland.

Sodium Valproate is an effective anti-seizure medication but it can cause birth defects, neuro-developmental disorders and autism in children whose mothers take such medicines during pregnancy.

For years, Epilepsy Ireland campaigned alongside OACS Ireland to hold an inquiry into this issue – you can read more about the announcement of an inquiry by visiting the ‘News’ section of our website.

The announcement of a Chair being appointed was discussed yesterday in the Dáil. Long-time advocate around Sodium Valproate, Deputy Rose Conway Walsh welcomed the inquiry while highlighting the contributions of OACS Ireland and Epilepsy Ireland which led to the inquiry being established – as well as rightly acknowledging the commitment of Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly in delivering this inquiry for families affected. You can see the discussion in the Dáil in the video below.

We look forward to engaging with the inquiry in the weeks and months ahead and will provide further details around the inquiry when it becomes available.

In the meantime, if you are taking Sodium Valproate and have any concerns, please discuss this with your healthcare professionals as soon as possible. DO NOT STOP TAKING THE MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING WITH YOUR MEDICAL TEAM. If you are not currently attending specialist services, please contact your GP for advice and guidance to schedule a specialist review. For more information on Sodium Valproate, visit the ‘Valproate’ section of our website.

To learn more about our joint campaign with OACS Ireland regarding Sodium Valproate, visit the ‘Advocacy’ section of our website