Newer antiepileptics safer in pregnancy

FETAL exposure to newer-generation antiepileptic drugs during the first trimester is not associated with an overall increased risk of major birth defects, compared with non-exposed pregnancies, a large cohort study suggests.

Drawing on data from more than 800,000 pregnancies in Denmark, researchers found among approximately 1500 infants exposed to the newer antiepileptic drugs that 3.2% had a major birth defect compared with 2.4% of the infants not exposed.

The drugs studied were lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, gabapentin and levetiracetam.

The finding was reassuring, the researchers said, as