Key Syndrome Characteristics

FACS needs to be diagnosed by an informed specialist when the mother has taken AEDs during pregnancy and has a baby/child with a combination of dysmorphic (facial) features, physical malformations and/or neurodevelopmental or cognitive impairments and there is no other reason for these difficulties/impairments.

Foetal Valproate Syndrome

Foetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS) occurs when Sodium Valproate (Epilim®), has affected the foetus in-utero. Every affected person presents differently, which means the symptoms or characteristics will differ. Below is an abbreviated list of characteristics, and for a more comprehensive list please contact FACS NZ. Some characteristics seen in people with FVS are:

Physical Malformations

  • Dysmorphic facial features
  • Visual difficulties
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Hypospadia (only in boys)
  • Limb and heart defects
  • Spina bifida

Neurodevelopment or Cognitive Difficulties

  • Developmental delay
  • Attention and memory difficulties
  • Lower IQ
  • Speech and language problems
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Physical Difficulties

  • Gross and fine motor control difficulties
  • Poor muscle tone

Foetal Carbamazepine Syndrome

Foetal Carbamazepine Syndrome (FCS) occurs when Carbamazepine (Tegretol ®), has affected the foetus in-utero which can result in some of the following characteristics or symptoms (this is not a checklist):

  • Dysmorphic facial features
  • Attention difficulties
  • Memory difficulties
  • Nail abnormalities
  • Lower IQ
  • Developmental delay
  • Birth defects

Foetal Hydantoin Syndrome

Foetal Hydantoin Syndrome (FHS) occurs when Phenytoin (Dilantin ®), has affected the foetus in-utero which can result in some of the following characteristics or symptoms (this is not a checklist):

  • Cleft lip and/or palate
  • Nail abnormalities, such as hypoplastic nails (underdevelopment or absence of nails)
  • Small size at birth
  • Lower IQ
  • Developmental delay
  • Birth defects