Teratogenic effects of lamotrigine in women with bipolar disorder
background There is some doubt whether medication for women who have bipolar disorder and are pregnant should be adjusted during pregnancy or following childbirth. It is possible that adjustment during pregnancy may damage the foetus. Lithium is hardly teratogenic, whereas carbamazepine and valproic acid are teratogenic. The anticonvulsant lamotrigine is also used regularly to treat or prevent bipolar depressive episodes.
aim To provide an overview of the available literature concerning the prevention of congenital malformations following the use of lamotrigine (lmt) during pregnancy.
method The Medline database was searched using the search terms: 'pregnancy register' and ('lamotrigine' [Substance name] or 'anticonvulsants'[meSH]) .
results Ten studies and birth registers were selected which reported data concerning the use of lmt by women with epilepsy. There were no data concerning the use of lmt during the pregnancy of women with a bipolar disorder. The risk of a major congenital malformation (mcm) for lmt varied between 1 and 4.0%.
conclusion There are no strong indications that the use of lmt during pregnancy results in an increased number of major congenital malformations.