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AEDs and Pregnancy

Is Lamotrigine Safe in Pregnancy?

Researchers evaluated the safety of the anti-epileptic medication, lamotrigine use during pregnancy on newborns and child development.   Most of the current evidence on antiepileptic drug (AED) use in pregnant women and the resulting increased incidence of child malformation and neurodevelopmental delay refers to the older generation of AEDs. Lamotrigine is a newer generation AED that is effective in treating a wide range of epileptic disorders and is generally well-tolerated and safe. Since there is currently no consensus on lamotrigine use in pregnancy and its impact on child malformations and neurodevelopment, researchers recently evaluated the impact of lamotrigine in children who were exposed to the drug in utero, that is, before birth.

Safety of Antiepileptic Drugs During Pregnancy

A study investigated the association between maternal epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs used during pregnancy, and perinatal outcomes since there is little data comparing perinatal outcomes with or without antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder marked by unpredictable, recurring seizures caused by disruptions in nerve cell activity in the brain.  During a seizure, any brain function can be affected.  Once diagnosed, people usually begin treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) to reduce the number and duration of their seizures.  However, other health problems such as depression, insomnia, stomach upset, osteoporosis, or eye damage seem to be more prevalent amongst epileptics and it is unknown whether these are related to the disease, the medications, or both....

New epilepsy drugs safe in pregnancy, study finds

Doctors used to tell women with epilepsy not to have children, because the only available medications to treat the disorder also increased the risk of birth defects. But newer antiepileptic medications used during the first trimester carry no such risks, finds a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Commonly, the message was, ‘you cannot have children,’” says Dr. Page Pennell, chair of the Professional Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation. “So it really was an unfortunate situation when young women or even teenagers were told that their whole life-course was determined by the fact that they need an epilepsy medication.” The second-generation of antiepileptic medications began appearing in the early 1990s, and are commonly prescribed to treat ...

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