About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Impaired Fine Motor Skills Linked With Prenatal Exposure to Antiepileptic Drugs

by Rukmani Krishna on September 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Font : A-A+

 Impaired Fine Motor Skills Linked With Prenatal Exposure to Antiepileptic Drugs

A report reveals that prenatal exposure to antiepileptic medications was associated with an increased risk of impaired fine motor skills (small muscle movements) in children at age 6 months, but breastfeeding by women taking the medications was not associated with any harmful effects on child development at ages 6 to 36 months. The report was published by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Few studies have examined development during the first months of life of children of mothers with epilepsy, according to background in the study by Gyri Veiby, M.D., of the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues.


Researchers used data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study from 1999 to 2009, in which mothers reported children's motor and social skills, language and behavior at 6, 18 and 36 months of age. Women also provided information on breastfeeding during the first year.

Exposure to antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy was reported in 223 children, mostly to a single drug (n=182).

At age 6 months, a higher proportion of infants whose mothers took antiepileptic drugs had impaired fine motor skills compared to the reference group (11.5 percent vs. 4.8 percent). The use of multiple antiepileptic medications was associated with impaired fine motor and social skills, according to the study results.

Breastfeeding by mothers using antiepileptic drugs was not associated with adverse development at ages 6 to 36 months in nursing children, according to the study.

"Women with epilepsy should be encouraged to breastfeed their children irrespective of antiepileptic medication use," the study concludes.(JAMA Neurol. Published online September 23, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.4290. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: Authors made conflict of interest disclosures. This work was supported by the Norwegian Association for Epilepsy. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Editorial: Breastfeeding in Women with Epilepsy

In an editorial, Paul C. Van Ness, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, writes: "Pregnant women with epilepsy often ask whether they will be able to breastfeed. Many have been given conflicting advice when there were scant data to answer the question."

"This study adds additional evidence that long-term breastfeeding is safe and perhaps even beneficial to infants of mothers taking AEDs [antiepileptic drugs]," Van Ness continues.

"This should be an important area of discussion with any woman of childbearing potential well in advance of pregnancy using the best available information. Thus, a woman should take folic acid supplements, received AED monotherapy whenever possible, and take the lowest effective dose of medication," the editorial concludes.(JAMA Neurol.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Pregnancy and Antenatal Care Hemiplegia 

Recommended Reading
Antiepileptic Drugs Do Not Trigger Suicidal Thoughts in Victims of Bipolar Disorder
Antiepileptic drugs do not trigger suicidal thoughts in victims of Bipolar Disorder despite ......
Use of Antiepileptic Drug During Pregnancy Impacts Early Child Development
Children whose mothers took antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during Pregnancy are at increased risk of ......
Early Surgery a Promising Option for Many With Epilepsy
Based on promising clinical results medical professionals suggest neurologists should advocate for ....
Immunotherapy may Benefit Epilepsy Patients
Patients with autoimmune epilepsy may benefit from early-initiated immunotherapy, shows study ......
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Hemiplegia is a condition that is characterized by paralysis of one half of the body, usually due to...
Pregnancy and Antenatal Care
What is Antenatal care and its importance during pregnancy for mother and baby, with details on the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use