Ongoing Study: Babies Exposed to Valproate In-Utero may Suffer from Impaired IQ

It turns out that Topamax isn’t the only epilepsy medication that can cause serious adverse side effects to babies. Researchers in the U.S. and U.K. are currently conducting an ongoing investigation into how fetal exposure to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) effects a child’s cognitive functions.

This research is a part of a Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) Study that is paid for by NIH. So far the study is showing that “fetal exposure to valproate impairs IQ at age three. A new analysis, reported today at the 65th annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), reveals that this adverse effect on IQ persists to age six.”

This analysis is based on information gathered from pregnant epileptic women taking an AED that signed up to be a part of the study from 1999 to 2004. The study’s goal is to figure out if any differences exist in long-term neurodevelopmental effects from the different drugs including carbamazepine, lamotrigine, penytoin or valproate. So far, it is known that the women that took valproate during pregnancy’s babies have lower IQs than the babies of the women that took other AEDs.

This study is still ongoing as “further investigation is needed to confirm if the verbal impairments across this study occur in a different cohort,” says lead investigator Kimford J. Meador, M.D. “Research is also needed to delineate the cognitive effects of fetal exposure to other AEDs, and to determine the mechanisms underlying these effects.”

Topamax is another AED that is commonly used, but isn’t part of this study. It is known to cause serious adverse side effects, including birth defects in babies whose mother take the epilepsy drug while pregnant. Birth defects caused by Topamax include PPHN, neural tube defects and cleft palate.

If your baby was born with a birth defect after being exposed 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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