Monthly Archives: January 2014

Folic Acid Supplements Before and After Conception: Prevention of Autism

In a recent editorial in The Annals of Internal Medicine entitled “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements,” authors make a case that multivitamins are not a good value (Dec 17, 2013 issue).  This editorial was based on new research that demonstrated that there was no association between multivitamin use and rates of mortality, cognitive decline and recurrent cardiovascular events in three different studies.  The assertion that multivitamins are not worth the money was widely reported in the media.

Progesterone for Hot Flashes

Following the publication of the Women's Health Initiative report in 2002, there was a dramatic drop in the use of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) due to concerns about increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke.  Since that time, various non-hormonal alternatives have been utilized for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, including gabapentin and various serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Cognitive Development in Children Exposed to Levetiracetam (Keppra)

An increasing number of reproductive age women now take newer anticonvulsants for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders; however, information regarding the reproductive safety of these medications is limited.  A recent study has evaluated the cognitive and language development of children born to women with epilepsy exposed in utero to levetiracetam (LEV, Keppra) or sodium valproate (VPA, Depakote), as compared to control children born to women without epilepsy not taking medication during pregnancy.

New Baby 101: Practical Intervention Strategy Reduces the Risk of Postpartum Depression

An intervention teaching new parents about normal infant sleeping and crying patterns and providing them with techniques for infant settling improves mothers' depression scores. There were no differences in scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 4 months, but at 6 months, caregivers in the intervention group were almost half as likely to score higher than 9 on the EPDS, with 7.9% scoring higher than 9 in the intervention group vs. 12.9% in the control cohort (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.57).