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Epilepsy medication linked to pregnancy complications

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Certain forms of epilepsy medication could increase the risk of complications if taken while pregnant, Norwegian scientists have claimed.

The research, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, claims that three drugs commonly used to treat the condition in the UK could increase the likelihood of a range of conditions, including pre-eclampsia and heavy bleeding.

The study authors, who based their research on a comparison of 2,805 pregnancies in women with a history of the condition to 362,302 pregnancies in women without the condition, said: ‘Pregnant women with epilepsy using anti-epileptic drugs had a 1.5-fold increased risk of mild pre-eclampsia, a nearly two-fold increased risk of late vaginal bleeding, a 1.5-fold increased risk of gestational hypertension and delivery before week 34.’

‘Pregnant women with epilepsy without use of anti-epileptic drugs had no increased risk of any of the complications studied.’

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