Newer-generation antiepileptics safer during 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 study suggests.

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

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

JAMA 2011; 305:1996-2002