South Oxhey mum, Deborah Mann, takes battle over drug linked with birth defects to Parliament

Deborah Mann with daughters Branwen and Rhonwen

Deborah Mann with daughters Branwen and Rhonwen

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A single mother from South Oxhey will be taking her campaign to ban the use of a drug, which has linked to birth defects, to the Houses of Parliament next month.

Deborah Mann, of Morriston Close, has two children, both with fetal valproate syndrome.

Branwen, 18, was born with various congenital abnormalities, chronic migraines, and regular lapses of concentration and Rhonwen, 20, was born with two holes in the heart and has learning difficulties.

The 50-year-old is the secretary of the Organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (OACS), which is a support group for sufferers and families of those born with Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (FACS).

She is campaigning for the drug, sodium valporate, not to be given to women because of the possible effects the drug can have on pregnancy.

FACS is caused when a woman who takes the anti-convulsant medication, to manage epilepsy, for example, becomes pregnant.

Ms Mann said the effects on the child can vary from developmental delay, learning delay, dysmorphic facial features, physical disabilities, speech and language delay.

OACS is campaigning for the drug, sodium valporate, to be banned from being given to women because of the possible effects on pregnancy.

The meeting at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, June 18 will focus on the use of the drug.

Comments (4)

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4:35pm Thu 29 May 14

Nightreader says...

Good luck with your campaign...I was taking Epilim throughout pregnancy without any guidance from the medics. I know I got very lucky.
Good luck with your campaign...I was taking Epilim throughout pregnancy without any guidance from the medics. I know I got very lucky. Nightreader
  • Score: 5

11:41am Fri 30 May 14

Paul Barbara says...

Another thing relating to birth defects which most people don't have a clue about is Wi-Fi. I hope some of you check this out, and pass the info on to the Organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (OACS). Whilst obviously not what they are campaigning about, which is an anti-epileptic fit drug, they may well be in touch with a broader range of people involved in other causes of birth defects:
'Wi-Fi – A Thalidomide in the Making. Who Cares?':
http://communitypres
sgroup.com/articles/
wi-fi-a-thalidomide-
in-the-making/
Barrie Trower also has a number of videos up on the internet, one on this issue.
Another thing relating to birth defects which most people don't have a clue about is Wi-Fi. I hope some of you check this out, and pass the info on to the Organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (OACS). Whilst obviously not what they are campaigning about, which is an anti-epileptic fit drug, they may well be in touch with a broader range of people involved in other causes of birth defects: 'Wi-Fi – A Thalidomide in the Making. Who Cares?': http://communitypres sgroup.com/articles/ wi-fi-a-thalidomide- in-the-making/ Barrie Trower also has a number of videos up on the internet, one on this issue. Paul Barbara
  • Score: -4

3:16pm Fri 30 May 14

trelissa says...

this drug affects 40% of kids whose mothers take it. I am not sure why this would be regarded by anyone as not being a concern. Lets face it, if it is happening with this drug, how many others are affected by other drugs. At least USA are taking this seriously with the FDA giving it an X rating for pregnancy, and now the EMA in europe are looking into. For a drug to have been out since the early sixties this is a shocking situation.
this drug affects 40% of kids whose mothers take it. I am not sure why this would be regarded by anyone as not being a concern. Lets face it, if it is happening with this drug, how many others are affected by other drugs. At least USA are taking this seriously with the FDA giving it an X rating for pregnancy, and now the EMA in europe are looking into. For a drug to have been out since the early sixties this is a shocking situation. trelissa
  • Score: 5

11:42am Sat 31 May 14

oaklands1423 says...

I actually said that I wanted the drug to have the status as given by the FDA in the USA. where it is X rated for women of child bearing potential. I do not want the drug banned as there are those who have no choice regarding its use.
I do appologise for all people offended, I should viewed this story first.
I actually said that I wanted the drug to have the status as given by the FDA in the USA. where it is X rated for women of child bearing potential. I do not want the drug banned as there are those who have no choice regarding its use. I do appologise for all people offended, I should viewed this story first. oaklands1423
  • Score: 1

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