Epilim and foetus / birth defects

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Epilim and foetus / birth defects

Post by Paddy on Mon May 21, 2012 8:51 am

Apparently Epilim medication is implicated in ‘spina-bifida – like birth defects.

According to the NZ Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet on Epilim at
http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/Consumers/cmi/e/Epilim.pdf

“Epilim is prescribed in NZ as a medicine used to for the
treatment of epilepsy in adults and children.

Epilim may also be used to control mania, a mental condition with
episodes of overactivity, elation or irritability or to assist in the
prevention of bipolar disorder.”

The Consumer Information Sheet also carries this WARNING to females of child-bearing age …

‘If you are a female patient of child-bearing age, make sure that
you talk to your doctor about the risks associated with taking
Epilim during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become
pregnant.
Like most medicines of this kind, Epilim may affect your developing
baby if taken in the first trimester of pregnancy, as it is suspected of
causing an increased risk of malformations in the exposed
foetus.
However, do not stop taking Epilim unless your doctor says so as
there are risks to the mother and child from uncontrolled epilepsy or
uncontrolled mania episodes.
Your doctor may want to adapt your treatment and/or prescribe dietary
supplements of folate.
Your doctor will discuss the risks
and benefit."

It was this Link http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2146918/Why-doctors-warning-new-Thalidomide.html along with a few others recently that got me thinking.

I know a number of ‘us’ probably use Epilim as one of our medications, for whatever reason. I’ve used it myself, years ago. But I’m a bloke. It is the potential mums and babies I worry about now.

I’m old enough to remember families with children born with spina-bifida as a result of mothers being prescribed Thalidomide when pregnant and to have known some of those children. I’m not saying panic, I’m just asking you to be aware of seemingly real risks.

Paddy.
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Paddy
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