Friday June 22, 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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Thyroid Dysfunction May Lead to Diabetes During Pregnancy

Thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy linked to diabetes risk

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Thyroid dysfunction may lead to diabetes during pregnancy
Thyroid dysfunction may lead to diabetes during pregnancy. Pixabay

Thyroid dysfunction during the first half of pregnancy may indicate an increased risk for gestational diabetes — a form of diabetes that is typically diagnosed during the second trimester.

High thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy is also tied to increased the risk of premature delivery.

The researchers also warned that after birth, it may also cause the baby to develop conditions like hypoglycemia — low blood sugar — which can be dangerous if not treated correctly.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Our study found that women with thyroid abnormalities in the first half of pregnancy are at an increased risk for gestational diabetes, a common pregnancy complication that can cause short and long-term health problems for women and their children,” said senior study author Cuilin Zhang of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Rockville, part of the US National Institutes of Health.

Also Read: Finally The Cause Of Depression Among Diabetes Patients Discovered

In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the team examined medical records of 107 women with gestational diabetes and 214 other pregnant women.

“These findings, in combination with previous evidence of thyroid-related adverse pregnancy outcomes, support the benefits of thyroid screening among pregnant women in early to mid-pregnancy,” Zhang explained. (IANS)