Navigation Links
Epilepsy Drugs' Risk of Birth Defects May Be Dose-Dependent
Date:6/6/2011

SUNDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Four of the most frequently prescribed epilepsy drugs appear to increase the risk of serious birth defects when taken early in pregnancy, a new study finds.

And the higher the dosage, the greater the risk, the international team of researchers reported in the June 6 online edition of The Lancet Neurology.

"Our results show that dose selection is as crucial as the choice of drug," the authors said in a journal news release. Their study gives doctors the opportunity to prescribe the safest anti-seizure medication at the safest level for women with epilepsy who want to get pregnant, they said.

The drugs studied were carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakote), and phenobarbital.

The rate of birth defects was higher with increased dose for all the drugs, the researchers said, but they emphasized that the vast majority of women in their study delivered healthy children.

Most women with epilepsy need to take anti-seizure medication or risk harming themselves or their baby. Previous studies found that valproic acid, in particular, might increase the risk of birth defects, but those studies didn't look at individual doses. Nor did they take into account other influential factors, such as family history of birth defects or severity of epilepsy.

"Present guidelines caution on the use of valproic acid during pregnancy, but offer little guidance on alternative options and how to manage women whose seizures cannot be controlled by other drugs," Dr. Torbjorn Tomson, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues, said in the news release.

For their 11-year study, the researchers used data from the International Registry of Antiepileptic Drugs and Pregnancy on nearly 4,000 pregnancies in 33 countries.

In all, 230 pregnancies resulted in major birth defects by the end of the first year after birth.

Low doses of lamotrigine (less than 300 milligrams [mg] per day) and carbamazepine (less than 400 mg per day) carried the smallest risk, the investigators found.

The greatest risk to the fetus was seen with the highest doses of valproic acid (1,500 mg a day or more) and phenobarbital (150 mg or more a day), the researchers said.

A family history of major birth defects quadrupled the risk, they found.

"The findings are important to the clinician treating people with epilepsy because they provide specific information not only on the drug but also on the dose," Dr. W. Allen Hauser, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City, said in an accompanying editorial.

"It is easy to recommend against use of a specific drug (valproic acid, for instance) because of a higher risk of malformations, but if seizure control is not possible with alternative therapeutic regimens, such recommendations are difficult to implement," he continued.

"Incidence of major congenital malformations associated with a low dose of a higher-risk drug might be lower than that associated with a high dose of a lower-risk drug," Hauser added.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: "This new study gives doctors and epileptic patients more information about safer drug choices. Patients with epilepsy should always try to plan their pregnancies. Some patients will be able to come off their medications, some patients will lower their dosages, and some patients will switch medications. This should all be done in the non-pregnant state."

More information

For more about epilepsy, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- HealthDay Staff

SOURCES: June 6, 2011, The Lancet Neurology, online; Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Oldest Epilepsy Drug Best for Children
2. New study identifies best treatment for childhood epilepsy
3. Implant Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Epilepsy
4. Purple Day March 26th: The United States Goes Purple in Support of Epilepsy Awareness
5. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder linked to high prevalence of epilepsy, Queens study
6. Gene Mutation Ups Risk of Sudden Death in People with Epilepsy
7. Children with epilepsy say their quality of life is better than their parents think
8. University Hospitals Neurological Institute hosts international epilepsy colloquium
9. Altered brain development found in children with newly diagnosed epilepsy
10. Children With Epilepsy Feel on Par With Healthy Siblings
11. Study confirms favorable long-term prognosis of epilepsy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Epilepsy Drugs' Risk of Birth Defects May Be Dose-Dependent
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... According to ... In an industry filled with chemical-laden beauty products, one company is going against the ... for you: Mad Hippie. The rising star in the green space is proud to ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... has been hired as FluidEdge’s Vice President of Business Intelligence and Informatics, effective ... Wolf has demonstrated success leading teams as a healthcare business and financial strategist ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... May ... ... has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke ... , This achievement, a second for Memorial Healthcare System, recognizes its ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... City, MO (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... collegiate, and amateur athletics, The National Center for Drug Free Sport (Drug Free Sport®) ... Free Sport”. This conference, to be held July 12 – 13 in Kansas City, ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... According to an article published April 14th ... effectively fight against common bacteria and protect against surgical site infections. The article explains ... repair surgery even safer and could further reduce the risk of surgery related ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... -- According to Kalorama Information, the world market for ... these are challenging times in the market, there ... companies that remain optimistic and seek innovation.  Toward ... medical device companies spend a higher percentage of ... do companies in other industries.  Also, in addition ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 2016 MedDay, a biotechnology company focused ... oral presentation entitled "High doses of biotin in progressive multiple ... given by Professor Ayman Tourbah , Principal Investigator of ... European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen, Denmark ... will take place on Sunday, 29 May 2016 from 14:45 ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016   ... primären Endpunkte und demonstriert Ebenbürtigkeit bei der ... ‚ausgezeichneter plus guter , Reinigung ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130829/633895-a ) , ... Daten von der MORA-Studie der Phase III für ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: