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Newer Epilepsy Drugs May Be Safer During Pregnancy

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Women who take the new epilepsy drugs levetiracetam and topiramate during pregnancy don't run the risk of harming their infant's mental development, British researchers report. But the commonly prescribed anti-seizure drug valproate was linked with lower IQs in children, especially when taken at higher doses, researchers say. "The treatment of epilepsy in women who are considering a pregnancy or are pregnant involves optimizing the health of the mother as well as keeping the risk to the fetus as low as possible," said lead researcher Rebecca Bromley, a research fellow at the Institute for Human Development at the University of Manchester. In the study, children exposed to levetiracetam (Keppra) or topiramate (Topamax) in the womb did not differ from children not exposed to these drugs. And they had better outcomes than the children exposed to valproate ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Seizures, Topamax, Epilepsy, Keppra, Topiramate, Qsymia, Postcoital Contraception, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Seizure Prophylaxis, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Keppra XR, Status Epilepticus, West Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Trokendi XR, Topamax Sprinkle

FDA Approves First Pill Made by 3D Printing

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2015 – The age of 3D printing has come to the drug industry, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approving the first pill made with the technology. The agency approved the prescription drug Spritam (levetiracetam) as a 3D-printed pill, to be taken with other medicines for seizures in certain children and adults with epilepsy. According to a news release from Ohio-based Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, the drug is made using a 3D printing method called ZipDose Technology, which produces a porous pill that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid. 3D printing has already been used to make medical devices, but Spritam is the first 3D-printed drug to be approved for sale in the United States. It is expected to be available early next year. Experts say 3D printing of pills could usher in an era where drugs can be custom-ordered, based on specific patient needs, ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Keppra, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Seizure Prophylaxis, Keppra XR, Spritam, Elepsia XR

High-Pitched Sounds May Trigger Seizures in Cats

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – High-pitched sounds may trigger seizures in cats, particularly older felines, a new study says. Although many veterinarians are unaware of this connection, the louder the sound, the more severe the seizure, British researchers contend. Cat owners around the world were surveyed by scientists at University College London's School of Pharmacy, to find out if their pets had seizures or involuntary jerking motions in response to certain sounds. The researchers found hundreds of people noticed this behavior in their cats. They also found local vets had no answers for why cats reacted this way. The researchers compiled detailed information on 96 cats, including the type of seizures they had, how long they lasted, and the sound that seemed to trigger the reaction. The study, published April 27 in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, found some cats do seemingly ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Keppra, Seizure Prevention, Levetiracetam, Seizure Prophylaxis, Keppra XR

Study Weighs Safety of Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy

Posted 8 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 – There's long been concern that certain drugs taken to control seizures might be unsafe for use by pregnant women, due to potential effects on the fetus. Now, new British research suggests that the drug levetiracetam does not pose a major risk to the neurological development of the fetus, although there's more evidence that another drug – valproate – may cause some problems. "These results are heartening, as the use of levetiracetam has increased in recent years, but there has been limited information on its effect on the thinking, movement and language abilities of children," study author Rebekah Shallcross of the University of Liverpool said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "This is the first study to look at the effects of levetiracetam, and further research is needed before we can be certain there are no associations," Shallcross ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Keppra, Levetiracetam, Keppra XR

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, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Topiramate, Dilantin, Trileptal, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine

UCB Announces FDA Approval for Keppra in Infants and Children from One Month of Age with Partial Onset Seizures

Posted 26 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 25, 2012 - UCB announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Keppra (levetiracetam) tablets and oral solution as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures in adults and children one month of age and older with epilepsy. Keppra was previously approved in the U.S. as adjunctive therapy for partial onset seizures in adults and children four years of age and older with epilepsy. “As a leader in epilepsy, UCB has a responsibility to develop effective medicines that address unmet medical needs,” said Professor Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President UCB. “Our continuing development program with Keppra in young children demonstrates our long-term commitment to epilepsy.” The approval was based on data from a Phase III, double-blind, randomized, multi-center, placebo-controlled s ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Keppra, Levetiracetam

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, Topamax, Neurontin, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, Trileptal, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Gralise, Lamictal XR, Horizant, Keppra XR, Lamictal Blue, Lamictal Orange, Topamax Sprinkle, Gabarone, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD

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, Topamax, Neurontin, Depakote, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Tegretol, Topiramate, Trileptal, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Depakote ER, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Zonisamide, Divalproex Sodium, Tegretol XR, Zonegran

FDA Medwatch Alert: Keppra (levetiracetam) Tablets and Oral Solution

Posted 8 Oct 2003 by Drugs.com

FDA and UCB Pharma advised healthcare professionals of the risk of dispensing errors between KEPPRA (levetiracetam), an antiepileptic, and KALETRA (lopinavir/ritonavir), an antiretroviral. Patients with epilepsy who do not receive their antiepileptic drug due to a dispensing error would be inadequately treated and could experience serious consequences, including status epilepticus. [September, 2003 Letter - UCB Pharma] PDF Format Read more

Related support groups: Keppra

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, Mysoline, Zarontin, Di-Phen, Felbatol, Gabitril, Gabarone, Tridione, Mesantoin, Peganone

Keppra XR Approved for Partial-Onset Seizures

Posted 15 Sep 2008 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 15 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an extended release form of Keppra (levetiracetam) as an add-on treatment for people with epileptic seizures aged 16 and older, Belgian drug maker UCB said Monday. "While many people with epilepsy are successfully treated with one or more of the currently available anti-epileptic drugs, a significant percentage still live with uncontrolled seizures or intolerable side effects," the company said in a news release. Once-daily Keppra XR is expected to be available at U.S. pharmacies by the end of the month, UCB said. The original form was approved in 1999. In clinical testing, the most common side effects included drowsiness and irritability, which also are common side effects of the drug's immediate-release form. More than 3 million people in the United States have epilepsy, and more than 40 percent of people who take ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Keppra

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