Health News 6/12/19
To read the article titled Epilepsy drugs linked to higher risk of birth defects by Susan Scutti in its entirety, click this LINK. This article has some eye popping information on pregnancy, prescription drugs and epilepsy.
'Two medicines used to control epileptic seizures -- and prescribed to patients with migraine, pain and bipolar disorder -- are associated with an increased risk of birth defects, new research indicates.'
'Women prescribed valproic acid (10.4% of the group of pregnant women prescribed anti-epileptic medication) had a 19 times greater risk of having a baby with spina bifida compared with women who did not take an epilepsy drug. Among the 913 women prescribed valproic acid, six babies (0.66%) had spina bifida, compared with 616 babies (0.03%) born to women not taking an epilepsy drug. Valproic acid also increased the risk of seven other birth defects, including cleft palate and four types of heart defects.'
'Guidelines from the Academy of Neurology recommend that doctors prescribe a medicine that poses no risk to a developing fetus and, if possible, only one seizure medicine at a time: "If someone is on more than one seizure medicine, the risk of birth defects increases," Ficker said.'
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