By Julian Hattem - 05/06/13 08:51 PM EDT
The drug can also be used to treat epilepsy, and the FDA has previously warned pregnant mothers from using it as anti-seizure medication.
The FDA's new warning comes on the heels of a recently published study solidifying the link between the mothers who used the medication and their children's low IQ. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the United Kingdom Epilepsy Research Foundation, showed that children exposed to the drug in the womb have an IQ about eight to 11 points lower than their peers.
"These findings consistently show a substantial loss of developmental abilities for these children," said a statement from Dr. Kimford Meador, the lead study author.
Pregnant women can still take valproate sodium medications for other disorders, the FDA advises, but only if no other drug treatments have proven effective.