Anti-epileptic drug exposure and risk of foetal death in utero

F. J.E. Vajda, T. J. O'Brien, J. Graham, A. A. Hitchcock, C. M. Lander, M. J. Eadie

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To clarify whether anti-epileptic drug exposure during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of intrauterine foetal death. Methods: Analysis of data from 2064 pregnancies with known outcomes included in the Australian Register of Antiepileptic Drugs in Pregnancy, 170 of the pregnancies being unexposed to the drugs in at least the first half of pregnancy. Results: The relative risk (6.46; 95% C.I. 0.90, 46.22) of intrauterine death appeared higher, though not statistically significantly higher, in drug-exposed pregnancies compared with unexposed ones (3.44% vs 0.59%). There was no statistically significantly increased hazard associated with AED polytherapy as compared with monotherapy. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significantly increased and dose-related hazard of intrauterine death in relation to carbamazepine exposure. Conclusions: Intrauterine exposure to anti-epileptic drugs, particularly carbamazepine, may be associated with an increased risk of foetal death during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-23
Number of pages4
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anti-epileptic drugs
  • carbamazepine
  • foetal death
  • spontaneous abortion
  • stillbirth

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