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Keywords:

  • antiepileptic drugs;
  • congenital malformations;
  • pregnancy;
  • lamotrigine;
  • oxcarbazepine;
  • valproate

Objectives – To study the risk of teratogenicity in infants of women with epilepsy.

Material and methods – Prospective data from 1996 to 2000 comprised 147 pregnancies. The most frequent antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) used were lamotrigine (LTG) 35% (n = 51), oxcarbazepine (OXC) 25% (n = 37) and valproate (VPA) 20% (n = 30). Seventy-four per cent (n = 109) received monotherapy. Folic acid supplementation was taken during first trimester by 118 patients (80%).

Results – The overall risk of malformations among newborns in the AED-exposed group was 3.1% (n = 4). Two children were born with multiple malformations (VPA monotherapy), two children had ventricular septal defects (one OXC monotherapy, and one OXC and LTG). The risk of malformations was 2.0% in women treated with LTG and 6.7% in women treated with VPA (NS).

Conclusion – Despite the small number of cases in the study these data indicate that treatment with LTG during pregnancy might be relatively safe. Larger prospective studies are needed to obtain adequate power for statistical analysis.