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Epilepsy drug dosage linked to specific birth defects
Date:8/25/2013

has the data of more than 1700 women with epilepsy who have been or are currently pregnant, and is the world's most comprehensive pregnancy epilepsy database. Since its inception in 1999, the APR has gathered data that has been used to change epilepsy prescribing practices worldwide.

Founder of the APR and RMH Epilepsy specialist, Professor Frank Vajda AM, said the findings were statistically significant to make a real difference to the lives of women with epilepsy and their families.

"We always knew that epilepsy drugs were responsible for the high level of fetal malformations but we never knew how much dosage played a role until recently," Professor Vajda said.

"The present findings for spina bifida are clinically significant, as 80 per cent of all instances of spina bifida in the APR were associated with valproate exposure.

"However, since the collection of data for the APR started, we have noted that valproate was being taken less often by pregnant women and in lower dosages.

"This evidence now tells us that by using valproate in the lowest dose that can control severe seizures may reduce the hazard of one of the most devastating birth defects."


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Contact: Melea Tarabay
melea.tarabay@mh.org.au
61-393-427-469
Melbourne Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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