Australian Study Highlights Birth Defects Risks Associated with Epilepsy Medication

Australian Study Highlights Birth Defects Risks Associated with Epilepsy Medication

According to a new Australian study, there may be hope for pregnant women with epilepsy to lessen the chance of their babies having birth defects that are commonly linked to anti-seizure medications like Depakote and Topamax. The results of this study were published in the September 2013 issue of Neurology.

The experts at The Royal Melbourne Hospital have established a link between Depakote use and babies being born with spina bifida. Royal Melbourne Hospital epilepsy specialist and head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, Professor Terry O’Brien, said that doctors are afraid of the birth defects risks associated with Depakote use.

“For many women on epilepsy medication, the desire to start a family can be fraught with fear that they could have a baby with a range of disabilities or malformations,” O’Brien said. “Previous studies have shown a strong relationship between the dose of Valproate (Depakote) taken and the risk of the child having a birth defect. However, for many women, Valproate is the only drug that will help control their seizures.”

The study is suggesting that offering epileptic women a smaller dosage of drugs like Depakote or Topamax might significantly lower the risk of their babies being born with a birth defect.

“Through our research, we now know that by reducing the dose taken in the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of having a baby with spina bifida or hypospadias will be greatly reduced,” O’Brien adds.

Spina bifida is not the only birth defect that is linked to Depakote and Topamax. Other conditions such as PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects are also linked to the use of these anti-seizure medications. If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.

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