Safety review of epilepsy medicines in pregnancy


Women receiving treatment for epilepsy are being urged to discuss with a healthcare professional the right treatment for them if they anticipate becoming pregnant even sometime in the future, following a safety review.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal) and levetiracetam (Keppra) have been found to be safer than other antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy. The MHRA advises patients not to stop taking their current medicines without first discussing it with a healthcare professional.

Thereviewby the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency examined safety data for risks of major birth defects or abnormalities and concerns with the child’s development including learning and thinking abilities for other key antiepileptic drugs. It found that a number of these epilepsy medicines may be associated with some increased risks in pregnancy.

Valproate (Epilim) is already known to be seriously harmful if taken in pregnancy and should only be prescribed to a woman if a pregnancy prevention plan…

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