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Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Lithium outperforms newer mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar disorder, a new study has found. Patients taking lithium had lower rates of self-harm and unintentional injury compared to those taking other bipolar drugs, such as valproate (Depacon, Depakote), olanzapine (Zyprexa) or quetiapine (Seroquel), said lead researcher Joseph Hayes. He is a fellow of psychiatry at University College London. "This is important because people with bipolar disorder are 15 times more likely to die by suicide and six times more likely to die by accidental injury than the general population," Hayes explained. People taking one of the alternative mood stabilizers were 40 percent more likely to harm themselves compared to patients on lithium, Hayes and his colleagues found. And people on valproate or quetiapine were 32 percent to 34 percent more likely to fall victim to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Seroquel, Major Depressive Disorder, Lithium, Mania, Zyprexa, Seroquel XR, Quetiapine, Olanzapine, Dysthymia, Symbyax, Valproic Acid, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Zyprexa Zydis, Depakene, Cyclothymic Disorder, Eskalith, Lithobid, Eskalith-CR

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

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

FDA Medwatch Alert: Valproate Anti-Seizure Products: Drug Safety Communication - Contraindicated for Pregnant Women for Prevention of Migraine Headaches

Posted 6 May 2013 by Drugs.com

Including valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, and Depakote ER), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and their generics ISSUE: FDA is advising health care professionals and women that the anti-seizure medication valproate sodium and related products, valproic acid and divalproex sodium, are contraindicated and should not be taken by pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches. Based on information from a recent study, there is evidence that these medications can cause decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took them while pregnant. Stronger warnings about use during pregnancy will be added to the drug labels, and valproate’s pregnancy category for migraine use will be changed from "D" (the potential benefit of the drug in pregnant women may be acceptable despite its potential risks) to "X" (the risk of use in pregnant women clearly o ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Seizures, Depakote, Migraine Prevention, Depakote ER, Migraine Prophylaxis, Divalproex Sodium, Valproic Acid, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

FDA Warns Pregnant Women About Migraine Drugs

Posted 6 May 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 6 – Pregnant women who struggle with migraine headaches should never use medicines containing the ingredient valproate because they can lower the IQ scores of their children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The new warning will be included on the labels of medicines that contain valproate. These medicines already carry a boxed warning about fetal risk, including birth defects. Valproate products include valproate sodium (Depacon); divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, and Depakote ER); valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor); and their generic versions. "Valproate medications should never be used in pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches because we have even more data now that show the risks to the children outweigh any treatment benefits for this use," Dr. Russell Katz, director of the division of neurology products in the FDA's Center ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Seizures, Valproic Acid, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

Prenatal Use of Common Epilepsy Drug Tied to Higher Autism Risk

Posted 23 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 23 – Valproate – an epilepsy drug already shown to increase the risk of birth defects and thinking problems in offspring whose mothers used the drug during pregnancy – may also significantly increase the risk of having a child with autism or an autism spectrum disorder, according to new research. The study of more than 650,000 children born between 1996 and 2006 in Denmark found that the risk of having any type of autism spectrum disorder was increased nearly threefold, while the risk of developing childhood autism was raised over fourfold in certain mothers took valproate during pregnancy. Autism spectrum disorders are a group of developmental brain disorders that hinder a child's ability to communicate and interact socially. They range from severe cases of "classic" autism to the relatively mild form called Asperger's syndrome and other related conditions. In the ... Read more

Related support groups: Valproic Acid, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

Epilepsy Drug in Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk in Study

Posted 31 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 – Women taking the epilepsy drug valproate (Depakote) while pregnant are at increased risk of having children with autism and other developmental problems, according to a small British study. Valproate is prescribed for epilepsy as well as certain psychiatric disorders and migraines. Other studies have shown its use during pregnancy is associated with birth defects and, more recently, lower IQ in school-age children. The American Academy of Neurology advises against valproate use during pregnancy, and some experts believe it should not be used by women of childbearing age. "Women for whom valproate is a treatment option should discuss the risks and benefits of this drug with their doctor prior to pregnancy, to ensure that their health and that of the potential child is optimized," said Rebecca Bromley, a clinical psychologist and research associate at the University ... Read more

Related support groups: Valproic Acid, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

Epilepsy Drug in Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk in Study

Posted 30 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 – Women taking the epilepsy drug valproate (Depakote) while pregnant are at increased risk of having children with autism and other developmental problems, according to a small British study. Valproate is prescribed for epilepsy as well as certain psychiatric disorders and migraines. Other studies have shown its use during pregnancy is associated with birth defects and, more recently, lower IQ in school-age children. The American Academy of Neurology advises against valproate use during pregnancy, and some experts believe it should not be used by women of childbearing age. "Women for whom valproate is a treatment option should discuss the risks and benefits of this drug with their doctor prior to pregnancy, to ensure that their health and that of the potential child is optimized," said Rebecca Bromley, a clinical psychologist and research associate at the University ... Read more

Related support groups: Epilepsy, Valproic Acid, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

Study Links Epilepsy Drug in Pregnancy to Lower IQ

Posted 23 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 – Children of mothers who take the antiepileptic drug valproate during pregnancy have lower IQ scores at age 6, a new study says. And the higher the dose of valproate during pregnancy, the greater the effect on a child's IQ, according to the report published in the Jan. 22 issue of The Lancet Neurology. For the study, the researchers looked at 305 pregnant women in the United States and United Kingdom who took a single drug to treat the seizure disorder – either valproate (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal) or phenytoin (Dilantin). At age 6, the IQ of children whose mothers took valproate during pregnancy was seven to 10 points lower than children whose mothers took another antiepileptic drug. Exposure to valproate was also associated with poorer speaking and memory abilities. "These results build on our earlier work to show that valproate ... Read more

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

FDA Medwatch Alert: Valproate Products: Drug Safety Communication - Risk of Impaired Cognitive Development in Children Exposed In Utero (During Pregnancy)

Posted 30 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

Including valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, and Depakote ER), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and their generics ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that children born to mothers who take the anti-seizure medication valproate sodium or related products (valproic acid and divalproex sodium) during pregnancy have an increased risk of lower cognitive test scores than children exposed to other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy. This conclusion is based on the results of epidemiologic studies that show that children born to mothers who took valproate sodium or related products throughout their pregnancy tend to score lower on cognitive tests (IQ and other tests) than children born to mothers who took other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy. See the Drug Safety Communication for a data summary and additional information. ... Read more

Related support groups: Depakote, Depakote ER, Divalproex Sodium, Valproic Acid, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

Fetal Exposure to Common Epilepsy Drugs May Harm Kids' IQ: FDA

Posted 30 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday advised doctors to warn women of childbearing age that fetal exposure to certain drugs used to control seizures or migraines appears to diminish intellectual abilities in offspring. The drugs include so-called "valproate products" – medications such as valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, Depakote ER), valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor), and their equivalent generic formulations, the FDA said in a statement. Children born to women who take these medications during their pregnancy "have an increased risk of lower cognitive test scores than children exposed to other anti-seizure medications during pregnancy," the FDA said. The agency said it based its conclusions on epidemiological studies that showed that fetal exposures to the drugs tended to correlate with lower scores on IQ and ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Depakote, Epilepsy, Depakote ER, Divalproex Sodium, Valproic Acid, Depakote Sprinkles, Depakene, Stavzor, Depacon

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

Epilepsy Drugs May Raise Fracture Risk in Older Adults

Posted 11 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 – Epilepsy drugs increase older adults' risk for bone fractures, a new study shows. Canadian researchers analyzed the medical records of 15,792 people 50 and older who'd had non-traumatic fractures between April 1996 and March 2004. Each person was matched with up to three people who'd never had a fracture, for a total of 47,289 people to serve as controls. The researchers also looked at the participants' use of epilepsy drugs, including carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), ethosuximide (Zarontin), gabapentin (Gabarone, Neurontin), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote). All but one of the drugs was associated with an increased risk for fractures. The greatest risk was among people taking phenytoin and carbamazepine. Valproic acid was the only drug not linked with an increased chance ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Gabapentin, Clonazepam, Neurontin, Tegretol, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Valproic Acid, Epitol, Carbatrol, Klonopin Wafer, Zarontin, Depakene, Phenytoin Sodium, Equetro, Di-Phen, Stavzor

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

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Schizoaffective Disorder, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Seizures, Hyperekplexia

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