Women with epilepsy who want to become pregnant, or who are already pregnant, face difficult decisions. Some drugs that are safe for women who are not pregnant may pose a risk to the unborn children of epileptic women who are pregnant. Past studies have, for example, linked some drugs that treat epilepsy to birth defects such as cleft palate, neural tube defects, and congenital heart problems.
A new study adds a new potential risk for children born to epileptic mothers who take certain drugs. That risk is autism.
Some Epilepsy Medications Taken During Pregnancy May Cause Autism
A study published in the April 24, 2013 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that children born to mothers who used valproate during pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of autism. Valproate is used to treat epilepsy and some neuropsychological disorders. In reaching the conclusion that valproate significantly increases the risk of autism, researchers looked at all of the children born alive in Denmark in the decade from 1996 to 2006. They found that children who were exposed to valproate in utero had a 4.42 percent absolute risk of developing autism, compared to a 2.5 percent absolute risk of developing autism in the general population. Mothers deserve to know about this risk, about the other risks associated with some anti-epilepsy medications, and about the risks of alternative treatments for epilepsy during pregnancy before making a treatment decision.
Call an Illinois Drug Injury Lawyer If Your Child’s Been Hurt
Unfortunately, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to get all of the information that you need about an epilepsy drug so that you can make an informed decision. If your child has suffered because of a drug that you took during pregnancy then we encourage you to find out more about your child’s rights and how you may protect his or her future. Please call one of our Illinois ased drug injury attorneys today at 309-862-4800 or 866-532-4800 for a free consultation.