Epilepsy Drug 'Lyrica' Likely Increase The Risk Of Birth Defects, Study Says

First Posted: May 19, 2016 05:26 AM EDT

Pregabalin, a drug which is also known as Lyrica, is linked to birth defects, according to a new study. It may heighten the risk of birth defects.

Medical Daily reports that the study was printed online in Neurology, which is the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study involved pregnant women from seven different countries. The researchers gathered data on them. Among the participants, 164 of them took Lyrica during their pregnancy and 656 of them did not take the drug. There is about 77 percent of the pregnant women who took Lyrica just before they became pregnant. On average, all of the pregnant women stopped taking Lyrica six weeks into their pregnancies.

The results showed that pregnant women who took Lyrica were three times more would likely have a baby with major birth defects compared to those who did not take Lyrica. The researchers also examined the pregnant women who took the drug during the first trimester of their pregnancy. They discovered that 7 out of 116 pregnancies or 6 percent had babies with major birth defects compared to 12 out of the 580 pregnancies who did not take the drug.

Dr. Thierry Buclin from the Swiss Teratogen Information Service and the division of clinical pharmacology at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland said that these results should be taken with caution. He added that it is a warning, yet it cannot be taken as a certainty.

He also explained that there are some experiments in animals that also linked Lyrica to birth defects. On the other hand, he said that there are many examples of drugs showing harmful effect, which turn out to be rather safe in humans.

Lyrica is a drug that treats neuropathic pain that includes pain after shingles or spinal cord injury and pain from diabetic neuropathy, epilepsy and fibromyalgia. It can also cure mental health problems and anxiety. It is certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


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