Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epilepsy drug taken in pregnancy found safe in preschool child development

Date:
January 8, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
A new study finds that the epilepsy drug levetiracetam appears not to be associated with thinking, movement and language problems for preschool children born to mothers who took the drug during pregnancy, although the drug valproate was associated with some difficulties in preschoolers.

A new study finds that the epilepsy drug levetiracetam appears not to be associated with thinking, movement and language problems for preschool children born to mothers who took the drug during pregnancy, although the drug valproate was associated with some difficulties in preschoolers. The study is published in the January 8, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"These results are heartening, as the use of levetiracetam has increased in recent years, but there has been limited information on its effect on the thinking, movement and language abilities of children. However this is the first study to look at the effects of levetiracetam and further research is needed before we can be certain there are no associations. It is very important that women do not stop taking their medication before speaking to their healthcare professional," said study author Rebekah Shallcross, PhD, of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

The study involved 53 children exposed to levetiracetam, 44 children whose mothers took valproate and 151 children whose mothers did not have epilepsy and did not take any drugs during pregnancy. The children were age three to four-and-a-half. Tests evaluated their development in areas such as thinking, movement and language abilities.

The study found that children exposed to levetiracetam did not differ from children not exposed to epilepsy drugs on any scale administered. Children who were exposed to valproate, however, scored an average of 16 points lower on movement tests, 10 points lower on expressive language tests and six points lower on language comprehension measures than those exposed to levetiracetam.

In a corresponding editorial, Pavel Klein, MB, BChir, of the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Md., said, "Importantly, valproate is used more commonly for treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases such as bipolar affective disorder or migraines, than for epilepsy. In 2005 to 2007, only 19 percent of the 926,000 valproate prescriptions given to women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 44 years were for seizures. There is virtually no information about the drug's effect on babies born to mothers taking the drug for these disorders." Klein noted that valproate doses used in these disorders are usually lower than for epilepsy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Shallcross, R. L. Bromley, C. P. Cheyne, M. Garcia-Finana, B. Irwin, J. Morrow, G. A. Baker. In utero exposure to levetiracetam vs valproate: Development and language at 3 years of age. Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000030

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Epilepsy drug taken in pregnancy found safe in preschool child development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108170549.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2014, January 8). Epilepsy drug taken in pregnancy found safe in preschool child development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108170549.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Epilepsy drug taken in pregnancy found safe in preschool child development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108170549.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins