More Fetal Risks linked to anti-Epileptic Drugs

Adverse birth outcomes after prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs

More Fetal Risks Linked to Epilepsy Drugs
Increased risks of low birth weight, preterm birth, and smaller-than-normal head circumference in infants born to mothers taking AEDs during pregnancy

Fetal exposure to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) appears to carry risks beyond those congenital defects currently listed on the products’ labels, a Danish researcher said

There is limited knowledge of the effects of prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs and birth outcome.

To study birth outcome in newborn children after prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs.

Patients and methods:
From Danish registers, we identified all children born from 1997 to 2008 and linked this with information on the mother’s prescriptions for antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. We used linear regression to study birth weight, gestational age and head circumference at birth, and binominal regression to study preterm birth (< 37 weeks) and “small for gestational age” (< 10 %). Estimates were adjusted for potential confounding factors. Furthermore, head circumference and birth weight were adjusted for gestational age, and gestational age was adjusted for birth weight.

We identified 679,762 newborn singletons. After adjustment for confounders, antiepileptic drugs exposure (n = 2928) was associated with reduced gestational age; -0.92 days (95% confidence interval (CI): -1.40 – -0.44), lower birth weight; – 31.96 g (95% CI: – 51.74 – – 12.18) and smaller head circumference -0.07 cm (95% CI: -0.14 – – 0.004) compared to non-exposed.
There was a higher risk of being born preterm (< 37 weeks) (adjusted Risk Ratio (aRR): 1.51 (95% CI: 1.32 – 1.72)) and a higher risk of being small for gestational age (aRR: 1.21 (95% CI: 1.10 – 1.34).

Prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs was associated with lower birth weight, reduced gestational age, decrease in head circumference, and increased risk of preterm birth and being small for gestational age.

Read More Fetal Risks Linked to Epilepsy Drugs
by John Gever, MedPage Today, 24 Sep 2013

Dr. Demet Kilic, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

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