January was Birth Defects Prevention Month, and MotherToBaby launched a free app designed to provide evidence-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is Information on a broad range of medications, some herbal remedies, [...]
Prenatal Antiepileptic Exposure Increases Risk for Malformations: Does High-Dose Folic Acid Reduce Risk?
The CDC, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) all recommend that every woman of reproductive age get 400 micrograms (400 mcg) or 0.4 milligrams of folic acid [...]
Last week was National Folic Acid Awareness Week at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), so this seems like a great time to remind women (and their caregivers) of the importance of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects. By taking the recommended dosage of folic acid daily, women will reduce the risk of neural tube defects by 50% - 70%. In addition, women who take folic acid supplements are less likely to give birth to a child with an autism spectrum disorder.
The European Medicine Agency (EMA)'s Pharmacovigilance and Risk Assessment Committee recently recommended strengthening the restrictions on the use of valproic acid in women of reproductive age. Over the last few years, we have seen a host of articles documenting the deleterious effects of valproic acid on the developing fetus:
We have long been concerned about the impact of stressful life events on pregnancy outcomes. There is data to indicate that stress experienced during pregnancy may increase the risk of various adverse outcomes, including increased risk of preterm birth and lower birth weight. Other studies suggest that prenatal exposure to maternal stress may also increase the risk of later psychopathology in the child, increasing the exposed child’s risk of being diagnosed with ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.