Welcome to the FACS Forum Ireland website. We are a group of patient representative and disability organisations that have come together to advocate for better services and supports for families and children affected by Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (FACS).

FACS occurs in children born to women who were prescribed medication containing sodium valproate during pregnancy. This medication is known as Epilim in Ireland. This medication is widely prescribed for Epilepsy and Bi-Polar Disorder and other conditions such as migraine (although it is not licensed in Ireland for migraine). Children exposed to this drug while their mothers were pregnant have a 30-40% chance of serious developmental disorders and/or physical defects in 10% of cases[1] according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Our first priority is to ensure no more mothers and their children are impacted by FACS. Our second priority is to make sure that those existing children, young people and adults with FACS and their families are sufficiently supported to deal with the wide range of severe problems that are associated with this condition.

Note: NEVER stop taking valproate unless your doctor/nurse prescriber tells you to as your condition may become worse. (HSE Valproate Toolkit)

Watch the recent RTE Primetime coverage of FACS

[1] http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/referrals/Valproate_and_related_substances/human_referral_prac_000032.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac05805c516f.