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Newer Epilepsy Meds Less Likely to Cause Birth Defects: Study
Date:5/17/2011

directed by experienced clinicians taking into account a wide range of factors, not just birth defect risks. These adverse effects include preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal death and adverse effects experienced by the mother," said Molgaard-Nielsen.

Still, Molgaard-Nielsen added: "Further studies investigating newer-generation anti-epileptic drugs and the risk of adverse effects other than birth defects are needed to provide a more complete picture of the risks and benefits of different anti-epileptics."

Thornburg added: "This is the best evidence we have thus far to say these drugs are safer than previous medications. Are they absolutely safe? I don't think anyone can say that about any medication, but it's about what's the best choice."

More information

Learn more about epilepsy and pregnancy from the Epilepsy Foundation.

SOURCES: Ditte Molgaard-Nielsen, M.Sc., epidemiologist, Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark; Loralei Thornburg, M.D., assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.; May 18, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


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