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Study finds lamotrigine to be safe during pregnancy

Study finds lamotrigine to be safe during pregnancy

New research indicates that use of the epilepsy drug lamotrigine during pregnancy does not increase the risk of birth malformations or neurodevelopmental disorders. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study provides the most extensive long-term report regarding children whose mothers took lamotrigine while pregnant.

The study included the children of 83 epileptic women treated with lamotrigine during pregnancy at a tertiary medical center between 2004 and 2014. All newborns were monitored and parents completed a questionnaire regarding their child’s development and health up to the age of 12 years.

No major malformations were found in the newborns. None of the newborns had significant withdrawal symptoms by Finnegan score. The children were followed-up to the age of 12 years (56.6% were 6–12 years at the time of evaluation). There were no significant findings in the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders.

The authors concluded that according to their experience, lamotrigine was generally safe for pregnancy use, associated with minimal short-term complications with no long-term effects on the outcome.

“The results of this study are good news for both pregnant epileptic women and their children, as well as their treating neurologists,” said co-author Dr. Itai Berger, of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, in Jerusalem.

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