Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Anti-Seizure Drug Lowered IQ in The Unborn

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:18 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Epilepsy, Seizures, Valproate, Sanofi-Aventis, Depakote, Abbott Laboratories

Valproate taken for seizures lowered the IQ of the unborn.

Anti-Seizure Drug Lowered IQ in The Unborn

LEARN MORE

 

IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockphoto/ little girl writing/ author: peeterv

 

Researchers report that children of women who took a drug for epilepsy have lower IQs as toddlers than children of mothers who took an alternate drug.      

The medication in question is an anti-seizure drug, valproate and it’s sold by Sanofi-Aventis as Epilim and Depakote by Abbott Labs, reports Reuters

"This finding supports a recommendation that valproate not be used as a first-choice drug in women of childbearing potential," Kimford Meador of Emory University in Atlanta and colleagues wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

That would apply to all women of childbearing age, since half of pregnancies are unplanned. 

The average IQ for children exposed in the womb to lamotrigine was 101, for phenytoin it was 99, and for carbamazepine it was 98. Three-year-old children, exposed to valproate in the womb, who were tested scored an average of 92 on the IQ test, reports Forbes. 

The IQ was measured on average six to nine points lower in children whose mothers had been prescribed valproate.  Other drugs tested for their effect on children were Lamictal, Tegretol and Dilantin which did not seem to lower the unborn child’s intelligence. 

About 25,000 children are born in the U.S. every year to mothers with epilepsy. 

Besides a reduced IQ, evidence exists that the drug can cause congenital malformations in 10 percent of children. British researchers also report its link to a rise in autism

The drug is commonly prescribed for epilepsy, migraines, and bipolar disorder. A lower dose may not show the same effects. 

Doctors do not recommend you stop taking the drug suddenly when pregnant because of the possibility that could lead to more seizures which can harm a fetus.  Reuters reports that in five percent of epilepsy patients, valproate or valproic acid is the drug of choice. 

Researchers plan to follow the children for another three years. #


1 Comment

Posted by Wayne Parsons
Thursday, April 16, 2009 3:55 AM EST

Great article. I am going to see if Hawaii children have been affected.

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes