19 April 2011

What Parents Should Know About Possible Birth Defects From Anticonvulsants

The FDA issued an alert security in December 2009 MedWatch which advised the health professionals and patients on the increased risk of major congenital anomalies in babies exposed to sodium valproate (a sodium salt of valproic acid) during pregnancy, which included the following recommendation: "women who are considering pregnancy or who become pregnant while taking valproate should contact their health care professional immediately." Drugs containing acidic compounds valproic include brand names such as Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakene, Depacon, divalproex, CP Depakote sodium and StavzorValproic acid is a chemical compound in various anticonvulsant drugs. Physicians prescribing these drugs for people with seizure disorders, epilepsy, the manic phase of bipolar disorder and migraine headaches. Since its approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1967, valproic acid and the brand name drug Depakote have proved effective in these patients.However, once a prescription drug is approved, FDA, and other independent laboratories continue to explore its use and side effects that patients may experience. Over time, other studies have revealed a potential link between anticonvulsant drugs taken by pregnant women and a number of injuries serious birth including spina bifida, cleft palate, cardiovascular malformations, Craniofacial anomalies and neural tube defects.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that three of every 100 babies in the United States are born with a major congenital malformation. Many of these birth defects can be treated and even healed, but collectively, they are the leading cause of death in the first year of life of the baby.In some cases, pregnant women should take such as Depakote medication to treat their epilepsy. The FDA recommends that women consider to register in the North American antiepileptic drug pregnancy registry by calling 1-888-233-2334 or by visiting AEDPregnancyRegistry.org. According to the register, there are 16 reported cases of birth defects in infants of 149 women with epilepsy. They took approximately 1 000 mg of basic medicines of valproic acid per day during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Three of these 16 cases were of neural tube defects.The March of Dimes calculates that take care of a child with a malformation congenital cost $ 140,000 to $ 170,000 in her lifetime. Treatment of life of spina bifida is still more expensive, the cost of nearly $ 300,000. It is the financial and emotional burden of caring for a child with a wound of birth important which can have serious consequences on the quality of life for these families for years to come.