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Epilepsy drug "a risk in pregnancy"

New research has shown the risk of complications in pregnancy could be increased by the use of anti-epileptic drugs.

Conditions such as pre-eclampsia could be increased by using standard drugs available on the UK market.

The study in Norway analysed 2,805 women with a history, or current condition, of epilepsy, and 362,302 women without the condition.

Of those women with epilepsy, 34% were taking anti-epileptic drugs.

The study found women using the drugs were exposed to an increased risk of delivery before 34 weeks, mild pre-eclampsia and vaginal bleeding late in pregnancy.

The research, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found there was no increased risk to women with epilepsy who were not using anti-epileptic drugs.

"Pregnant women with epilepsy using anti-epileptic drugs had a 1.5-fold increased risk of mild pre-eclampsia, a nearly two-fold increased risk of late vaginal bleeding, a 1.5-fold increased risk of gestational hypertension and delivery before week 34," the researchers revealed.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Yes. All women should be given information, choice and discussion with their physician on the risk if any, and, if monitoring is recommended for that individual" - Alan Lim, Hertfordshire