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Medical director allays pregnancy fears
Pregnant women taking anti-epileptic drugs should not be alarmed by a report in the British Medical Journal confirming a link between spina bifida and common epilepsy drugs.
The research, undertaken in the Netherlands, found that spina bifida was 2.6 times more likely in babies born to women who had taken carbamazapine in the first three months of pregnancy, compared with those not taking any anti-epileptic drug .
Professor John Duncan, medical director at the National Society for Epilepsy, urged women not to panic and emphasised that most women taking anti-epileptic medication deliver normal babies. He said: “It is essential that women don’t panic and don’t stop taking their medication as prescribed. They should seek advice from an epilepsy specialist as soon as possible and together they should consider the options. Pre conception counselling and ultra sound scans during pregnancy are important.”