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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1983 Feb 18;108(7):250-7.

[Anti-epileptic agents during pregnancy. A prospective study on the course of pregnancy, malformations and child development].

[Article in German]


In a prospective controlled study 70 children of females with epilepsy and on anticonvulsant medication during pregnancy were investigated. It was shown that epileptic females had stillbirths more frequently than expected. After delivery particularly children on phenobarbitone are sedated. Due to weak suckling this may lead to inadequate food intake. Withdrawal symptoms manifest in affected children as hyperexcitability lasting for weeks. Children of epileptic women on medication are generally smaller, of lower weight and have smaller heads than children from all control groups. Ingestion of more than one anticonvulsant leads to an even more pronounced reduction of infantile body measurements below the expected mean value. Small malformations are observed more frequently after intrauterine exposition to anticonvulsants than in the control groups. Ingestion of more than one anticonvulsant leads to an increase of the number of small malformations in the child than after single drug therapy. Children of epileptic parents are affected more frequently by large malformations than children of nonepileptic parents.

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