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Bipolar Disorder Drug May Need Adjusting in Pregnancy, Study Finds

Posted 6 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 – A drug used to treat bipolar disorder becomes less effective during pregnancy, meaning that expectant mothers may require higher doses of the medication, a small new study suggests. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. Northwestern University researchers looked at eight mothers before and after childbirth. They discovered that blood concentrations of the bipolar drug lamotrigine decreased during pregnancy as their metabolism rose. Some women in the study had worsening symptoms of depression as the levels of lamotrigine in their blood fell, according to the study published Nov. 1 in the American Journal of Psychiatry. "Now physicians change the dose of the drug in response to women's symptoms worsening. We need to optimize their medication dosing so they stay well," lead investigator Dr. Crystal Clark, an assistant professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Lamictal, Lamotrigine, Lamictal XR, Lamictal Blue, Lamictal Orange, Lamictal CD, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal Green

Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy May Affect Infants' Fine Motor Skills

Posted 25 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25 – Young children exposed to epilepsy drugs in the womb are at increased risk of having impaired fine motor skills, according to a new study. Exposure to the drugs in breast milk, however, does not appear to pose a threat. Researchers looked at data collected from Norwegian mothers about their children's language, behavior, and motor and social skills at the ages of 6 months, 18 months and 36 months. The women also provided information on breast-feeding during the first year for the study, which was published online Sept. 23 in the journal JAMA Neurology. Of the children in the study, 223 were exposed to one or more epilepsy drugs in the womb. At age 6 months, 11.5 percent of infants whose mothers took epilepsy drugs during pregnancy had impaired fine motor skills (which involve small muscle movements) compared with less than 5 percent of those who were not exposed ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Klonopin, Lyrica, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Depakote, Lorazepam, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Keppra, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Dilantin, Trileptal, Topiramate, Carbamazepine, Pregabalin

Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy Tied to Developmental Delays in Children

Posted 18 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 18 – The children of women who take drugs to treat epilepsy during pregnancy may be at increased risk for physical and mental developmental delays early in life, a large, new study finds. Epilepsy is fairly common among women of childbearing age, and the use of antiepileptic drugs by pregnant women ranges from 0.2 to 0.5 percent. In this study, researchers recruited Norwegian mothers at 13 to 17 weeks of pregnancy. For more than 61,000 children, mothers provided details about motor development, language skills, social skills and autistic symptoms at age 18 months. At 36 months, mothers provided that information for more than 44,000 children. The researchers found that 333 of the children were exposed to antiepileptic drugs in the womb. At 18 months of age, these children were more likely to have motor skills problems and traits of autism. At 36 months of age, these ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Carbamazepine, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, Equetro, Lamictal Blue, Stavzor, Lamictal Orange, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD, Lamictal Green, Depacon

Migraine Guidelines: What Works, What Doesn't

Posted 23 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 23 – Dozens of medications are available to prevent debilitating migraine headaches, but most migraine sufferers don't use them, a new study finds. "Approximately 40 percent of people with migraines need preventive treatment, and only about one-third of them are actually getting it," said Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein, co-author of new guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. The drugs include prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications. Which will work best "depends on the patient," said Silberstein, director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The guidelines, published in the April 24 issue of Neurology, were scheduled for presentation at the academy's annual meeting in New Orleans, April 21 to 28. Dr. Brian M. Grosberg, director of the Montefiore Headache Center in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Migraine, Effexor, Lamictal, Metoprolol, Topamax, Ibuprofen, Depakote, Naproxen, Effexor XR, Epilepsy, Venlafaxine, Migraine Prevention, Propranolol, Advil, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, Aleve, Motrin, Inderal

Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds

Posted 2 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 2 – Medications taken by millions of Americans for mood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions can have an unhealthy side effect: weight gain. While other choices exist for some types of drugs, adjusting medications is not simply a matter of switching, said Ryan Roux, chief pharmacy officer with the Harris County Hospital District, in Houston. In the late 1990s, Dr. Lawrence Cheskin conducted early research on prescription medicines and obesity. "Some medicines make an early, noticeable difference, causing patients to become ravenously hungry, while changes are subtle for others. A few months taking them and you've gained 10 pounds," said Cheskin, now director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, in Baltimore. To help increase awareness, Roux and his pharmacist group have compiled a list of "weight-promoting" and "weight-neutral or ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Zoloft, Diabetes, Type 2, Wellbutrin, Plan B, Prozac, Prednisone, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Metformin, Hypertension, Sprintec, Paxil, Mirena, Implanon, Lamictal, Provera, NuvaRing, Metoprolol

Epilepsy Drugs' Risk of Birth Defects May Be Dose-Dependent

Posted 6 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 5 – Four of the most frequently prescribed epilepsy drugs appear to increase the risk of serious birth defects when taken early in pregnancy, a new study finds. And the higher the dosage, the greater the risk, the international team of researchers reported in the June 6 online edition of The Lancet Neurology. "Our results show that dose selection is as crucial as the choice of drug," the authors said in a journal news release. Their study gives doctors the opportunity to prescribe the safest anti-seizure medication at the safest level for women with epilepsy who want to get pregnant, they said. The drugs studied were carbamazepine (Tegretol, Epitol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakote), and phenobarbital. The rate of birth defects was higher with increased dose for all the drugs, the researchers said, but they emphasized that the vast majority of women in ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakene, Equetro, Lamictal Blue, Stavzor, Lamictal Orange, Luminal, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD, Solfoton, Lamictal Green

Newer Epilepsy Meds Less Likely to Cause Birth Defects: Study

Posted 17 May 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 17 – Newer epilepsy medications don't increase the risk of major birth defects in women taking these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to new research. But because the drugs are relatively new, further studies are needed to get a clearer picture of their safety profile, experts said. In a large study of children born in Denmark, including those exposed to newer anti-epileptic drugs, researchers found the rate of major birth defects was 3.2 percent for babies born to women taking the epilepsy medications and 2.4 percent for women not taking these drugs. "In a nationwide Danish study of more than 800,000 births, we found no support for an increased risk of birth defects following use of newer generation anti-epileptics in early pregnancy," said the study's lead author, Ditte Molgaard-Nielsen, an epidemiologist at Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen. ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lamictal, Neurontin, Topamax, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Trileptal, Topiramate, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Lamictal XR, Gralise, Horizant, Keppra XR, Lamictal Blue, Topamax Sprinkle, Lamictal Orange, Gabarone, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD

FDA Approves Lamictal XR (Lamotrigine) for Conversion to Monotherapy for Treatment of Partial Seizures in Appropriate Patients

Posted 28 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lamictal XR (lamotrigine) Extended-Release Tablets for conversion to monotherapy in patients 13 years and older with partial seizures taking one anti-epileptic drug. This is a new indication for Lamictal XR which is already approved as add-on treatment for partial seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients in this age group. Safety and effectiveness of Lamictal XR have not been established as initial monotherapy or for simultaneous conversion to monotherapy from two or more concomitant AEDs. "We are committed to providing new and effective treatment options for patients," said Atul Pande, MD, senior vice president, Neurosciences Medicines Development Center, GlaxoSmithKline. "The approval of Lamictal XR ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Lamictal XR

Women Taking Certain Epilepsy Drugs Can Safely Breast-Feed, Study Suggests

Posted 24 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24 – There's encouraging news for women with epilepsy who want to nurse their babies. Children whose mothers took certain anti-seizure medications while breast-feeding don't appear to suffer any negative cognitive effects by age 3, a new study finds. The multi-center study looked at nearly 200 children whose mothers took one of four common antiepileptic drugs, and found no difference in IQ levels at age 3 among those who were breast-fed versus formula-fed. "For women who have epilepsy, this is one less thing that they as new mothers have to worry about," said lead author Dr. Kimford Meador, a professor of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta. The study was published in the Nov. 24 online edition and in the Nov. 30 print issue of the journal Neurology. The findings are part of the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs study, an ongoing trial looking at ... Read more

Related support groups: Lamictal, Depakote, Epilepsy, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Depakote ER, Phenytoin, Divalproex Sodium, Tegretol XR, Lamictal XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakene, Di-Phen, Equetro, Phenytoin Sodium

Epilepsy Drugs Don't Raise Suicide Risk, Study Shows

Posted 5 Aug 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 – In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required epilepsy medications to bear a warning label about an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. The move came after an agency review of 199 studies that found patients taking the drugs showed about twice the risk of suicidal behavior. But now a study of more than 5 million patients contradicts the FDA's findings. It suggests that the increased risk of suicide has more to do with the conditions for which these drugs are prescribed than the medications themselves. For the study, researchers in Spain and the United States evaluated the health records of primary care patients in England. They found that people with epilepsy who currently use an antiepileptic drug are at no greater risk of suicide-related events than those who aren't taking the medications. "In our opinion, in the long term, it is not the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lyrica, Lamictal, Neurontin, Topamax, Depakote, Keppra, Tegretol, Lamotrigine, Trileptal, Topiramate, Carbamazepine, Pregabalin, Depakote ER, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Divalproex Sodium, Zonisamide, Tegretol XR, Zonegran

FDA Approves Once-A-Day Lamictal XR as Add-On Epilepsy Therapy for Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures

Posted 9 Feb 2010 by Drugs.com

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – GlaxoSmithKline announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Lamictal XR (lamotrigine) Extended-Release Tablets as once-a-day, add-on therapy for epilepsy in patients ages 13 years and older with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. This is an expanded label, as Lamictal XR is approved for partial onset seizures (with or without secondary generalization) for patients in this age group. Primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, known formerly as "grand mal" seizures, are considered the most common form of generalized (affecting both sides of the brain) seizure, occurring in approximately 20 percent of patients with epilepsy. Patients experiencing a generalized tonic-clonic seizure usually lose consciousness and collapse. This is followed by muscle stiffening (the tonic phase) and then ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Lamictal (lamotrigine)

Posted 29 Sep 2006 by Drugs.com

[Posted 09/29/2006] The FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients of new preliminary information from the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry that suggests that babies exposed to Lamictal, indicated to treat seizures and bipolar disorder, during the first three months of pregnancy may have a higher chance of being born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. More research is needed to be sure about the possibility of the increased chance of cleft lip or cleft palate developing in babies of pregnant women who take Lamictal. Women who take Lamictal and are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant should talk with their doctor. Patients should not start or stop using Lamictal without talking to their doctor. [September 28, 2006 - Healthcare Professional Sheet - FDA] Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Antiepileptic Drugs

Posted 5 May 2009 by Drugs.com

[UPDATE 05/05/2009] FDA notified healthcare professionals that it approved updated labeling for antiepileptic drugs used to treat epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, and other conditions (e.g., migraine and neuropathic pain syndromes). FDA also required development of a medication guide, to be issued to patients each time the product is dispensed. Since issuing safety alerts on December 16, 2008 and January 31, 2008, FDA has been working with the manufacturers of drugs in this class to better understand the suicidality risk. Eleven antiepileptic drugs were included in a pooled analysis of placebo-controlled clinical studies in which these drugs were used to treat epilepsy as well as psychiatric disorders and other conditions. The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among the eleven drugs, with varying mechanisms of action and across a range of ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Lyrica, Lamictal, Topamax, Depakote, Epilepsy, Keppra, Trileptal, Seizure Prevention, Zonegran, Carbatrol, Depakene, Di-Phen, Felbatol, Gabitril, Gabarone

FDA Adds Suicide Warning to Epilepsy Drugs

Posted 16 Dec 2008 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it was adding a label warning on heightened suicide risk for users of antiepileptic drugs. The move, which follows the advice last summer of an FDA advisory panel, stops short of slapping the strongest "black box" warning on this class of drugs, which includes widely used medications such as clonazepam (Klonopin), phenytoin (Dilantin) and topiramate (Topamax). "Patients being treated with antiepileptic drugs for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior," Dr. Russell Katz, director of the division of neurology products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. But, he added, "patients who are currently taking an antiepileptic medicine should not make ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Lyrica, Lamictal, Topamax, Depakote, Keppra, Trileptal, Zonegran, Tranxene, Carbatrol, Zarontin, Di-Phen, Mysoline, Felbatol, Gabitril, Gabarone, Tridione, Mesantoin, Peganone

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