Carbamazepine (CBZ), the latest drug of choice for epilepsy, may cause birth defects.

In a 1989 “largely anecdotal” study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jones et al found that of babies born to epileptics taking CBZ while pregnant, 11 per cent had craniofacial defects, one quarter had fingernail hyperplasia and one fifth developmental delay.

In another study, 1490 women had four babies with spina bifida; the researchers concluded that taking CBZ during pregnancy carries a l per cent risk of having a baby with spina bifida-13.7 times the ordinary risk in the population at large.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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