Freaking out!! Got pregnant while taking medication! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am freaking out. I am on a medication that I wasn't suppose to get pregnant on. When my DR prescribed the med, she made it clear that I should not get pregnant while on this. And, well, I am. It's a newer med, so there's not a lot of info on it. Its a class C. I guess recently the FDA issued a warning that women who take this med while pregnant in the first trimester have a higher incidence of cleft palate, among other things. It supposedly depresses folic acid. I am so upset. I am about 5 weeks a long. It would take me weeks to titrate off, and the critical periods would already have past.

The medication is Lamictal. Its for seizures.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 01:18 AM
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breathe!!!!!

i'm on lamictal. my neurologist didn't say anything about folic acid. my family doc said nothing. my psych (who prescribes it as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder) said not to worry about it, it is not really associated with neural tube defects if taken on its own.

i freaked when my OB *did* say i should have been on increased folic acid - but she checked and it's mostly for cleft palate, not NTDs. i was told to take 5mg of folic acid daily, and *keep taking the meds*.

i got pretty pissed off when so many doctors didn't tell me that.. in fact my psych i DID ask specifically, and he said NOT to bother taking extra folic acid. i was so mad!!! but everything is fine. i just had fetal assessment (20w), and amnio, and the baby's neural tube is absolutely FINE. likewise, my sister has a nearly 2 year old, she was on lamictal PLUS other anticonvulsants. in fact in my case, my maternal serum screening (quad screen) came back with LESS than average chance of baby having a neural tube defect. the palate, so far, looks good. my nephew's is totally unaffected.

i'm not sure where you are but you can likely get plain folic acid at a pharmacy. start taking 5mg a day NOW. and then breathe, and make an appointment with your neurologist to discuss your options.

please, don't freak out.. easier said than done, i have literally been there, but i hope i can reassure you with my experience. :

January 2011
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#3 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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A lot of category C drugs are prescribed during pregnancy (and most common drugs ARE category C for pregnancy, since they haven't actually been tested on pregnant women in randomized control trials b/c drug studies w/ pregnant women are unethical). It's the category D's that are of more concern.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myk View Post
breathe!!!!!

i'm on lamictal. my neurologist didn't say anything about folic acid. my family doc said nothing. my psych (who prescribes it as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder) said not to worry about it, it is not really associated with neural tube defects if taken on its own.

i freaked when my OB *did* say i should have been on increased folic acid - but she checked and it's mostly for cleft palate, not NTDs. i was told to take 5mg of folic acid daily, and *keep taking the meds*.

i got pretty pissed off when so many doctors didn't tell me that.. in fact my psych i DID ask specifically, and he said NOT to bother taking extra folic acid. i was so mad!!! but everything is fine. i just had fetal assessment (20w), and amnio, and the baby's neural tube is absolutely FINE. likewise, my sister has a nearly 2 year old, she was on lamictal PLUS other anticonvulsants. in fact in my case, my maternal serum screening (quad screen) came back with LESS than average chance of baby having a neural tube defect. the palate, so far, looks good. my nephew's is totally unaffected.

i'm not sure where you are but you can likely get plain folic acid at a pharmacy. start taking 5mg a day NOW. and then breathe, and make an appointment with your neurologist to discuss your options.

please, don't freak out.. easier said than done, i have literally been there, but i hope i can reassure you with my experience. :
Thank you. This made me feel a lot better.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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From http://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/lamotrigine.html

Quote:
564 pregnant women were treated with lamotrigine monotherapy, and 5 oral cleft cases (2 isolated cleft lip, 3 isolated cleft palate) occurred (total prevalence of 8.9 per 1000).
Studies on cases of cleft lip/palate quote rates of .5 to almost 3 per 1000 in women who do not take this drug... so while there is an increased risk, the risk is still under 1%

Considering what you are taking the drug for, I see that as being a definite case of benefit outweighing the risk.

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I did not take Lamictal specifically, but was on another anticonvulsant when I had my first two kids. Like you, I kinda freaked out. I got knocked up accidentally with both, wasnNt taking a prenatal, and wasn't eating well either. I had testing done with those two that I didn't with the other two, just to reassure myself. My daughters are fine, and your baby probably will be too Oh, and FWIW, my med was a cat D drug.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-10-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I believe taking any kind of seizure medications can drastically increase your chance of having a baby with a heart defect. I'm not trying to scare you but it is a known cause (although most cases are unknown cause such as in my ds's case).

I would def let your midwife/obgyn know so they can look closely at your u/s. I am actally going in for a fetal echo for this pregnancy so they can examine the heart in much more detail.


me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#8 of 8 Old 09-13-2010, 12:45 AM
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no, lamictal is not associated with heart defects. they will, however, do a detailed ultrasound scan when you're further along to check things like the neural tube, heart, etc. talk to your care provider to arrange it.

you definitely don't want to have seizures while pregnant, so i hope you're still taking your meds i'm thinking of you!

January 2011
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