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More Birth Defects Linked to Ingestion of Antiepileptic Drugs by Pregnant Women

Filed September 25th, 2013 Joshua Sophy

A new study has added more risks for expecting mothers taking prescription drugsĀ like Depakote to control epileptic seizures.

According to a report this week, new research from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark has found that women taking drugs known as antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are more likely to give birth to children with a low birth weight or a smaller-than-normal head size, or who are premature.

The rates of these specific birth defects were “significantly higher” among women who took AEDs during their pregnancies than those who avoided them, notes. Specifically, babies born to mothers who took these drugs to mitigate epileptic seizures and the dangers they could cause them or their unborn child had babies, on average, with one less day of gestational age, were 32 grams lighter at birth, and had a head size smaller by about seven one-hundredths of a centimeter smaller.

In our previous reports we’ve noted the other birth defects risks linked to the use of epilepsy drugs like Depakote. Use of these drugs during pregnancy has been linked to congenital birth defects in newborns like cleft lip and cleft palate, extra fingers and toes, spina bifida and others.

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