Tuesday September 18, 2018

‘Epilepsy drug during pregnancy ups the oral cleft risk in babies’

The findings are based on data on more than one million live births over a period of 10 years in the US.

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Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent. Wikimedia Commons
Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent. Wikimedia Commons
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The study, published in the journal Neurology, said the risk is particularly high when the drug is used in high doses. “Our results suggest that the increased risk of oral clefts is most pronounced in women taking higher doses of topiramate to treat epilepsy,” said study co-author Elisabetta Patorno of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US.

“Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent,” Patorno said. “We hope that this work gives important information to women and their clinicians as they determine the best course of treatment and options available to individuals,” Patorno added. The findings are based on data on more than one million live births over a period of 10 years in the US.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons

The team examined the risk of oral clefts including cleft palate or cleft lip among three groups infants born to women who had taken topiramate in their first trimester; infants born to women who had taken the drug lamotrigine (an unrelated drug used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy); and infants who had not been exposed to anti-epileptic medications in utero.

The researchers found that the risk of oral clefts was approximately three times higher for the topiramate group than for either the lamotrigine or the unexposed group.

“Our results suggest that women with epilepsy on topiramate have the highest relative risk of giving birth to a baby with cleft lip or cleft palate, likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures,” said corresponding author Sonia Hernandez-Diaz of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The best course may be to avoid prescribing high doses of topiramate to women of childbearing age unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks,” she added. IANS

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High Sugar Levels In Mothers Can Risk Obesity In Child: Study

Lowering a mother's blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child.

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Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids. Pixabay

Babies born to woman with higher blood sugar levels during pregnancy could be at significantly greater long-term risk of obesity – even more than a decade later, a study has found.

The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese.

The researchers suspect that epigenetic changes are likely to be influencing these long-term outcomes and those changes begin quite early in pregnancy.

Pregnancy
Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids Pixabay

“The mother’s blood sugar level during pregnancy is an independent contributor to the child’s weight and risk of being obese later in childhood,” said Boyd Metzger, professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

In addition, mothers with higher-than-normal blood sugar during pregnancy — even if not at the level of gestational diabetes — also were significantly more likely to have developed Type-2 diabetes a decade after pregnancy than their counterparts without high blood sugar, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal JAMA.

Lowering a mother’s blood sugar during her pregnancy reduces the birth weight of the child, as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia — potentially life-threatening condition in which the mother has high blood pressure that affects her and the baby.

Pregnancy
The higher the woman’s blood sugar, the greater the risk of her child being obese. Pixabay

If not regulated on time, these can potentially increase the number of women and children at risk of acquiring lifelong chronic medical conditions.

“The results are important because they demonstrate that even women with mild hyperglycemia during pregnancy and their offspring are at risk of harmful maternal and child health outcomes,” said coauthor Wendy Brickman, associate professor at Feinberg.

“Research is needed to identify interventions that will improve the health outcomes of these women and children,” Brickman said.

Also Read: Weight Loss Tip- Chinese Medicine Ingredient May Help Reduce Obesity

The study evaluated children 10 to 14 years after birth in 10 clinical centers in seven countries: the US, Canada, Israel, the UK, Hong Kong, Thailand and Barbados.

The study included 4,697 mothers and 4,832 children. (IANS)