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High epilepsy drug doses risk birth defects

Seizure control drugs used by epilepsy sufferers during pregnancy have been associated with an increased risk of major birth defects, according to researchers.

An international study of 230 pregnancies where defects occurred found increases associated with lamotrigine, carbamazepine, valproic acid and Phenobarbital.

The greatest risk was in the highest doses of valproic acid and Phenobarbital.

However the authors added that the dose was as crucial as the choice of drug, and that for all drugs the “vast majority” of women gave birth to perfectly healthy children.

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