Drug Used to Treat Fibromyalgia, Pregabalin, May Be Linked to Birth Defects

Drug Used to Treat Fibromyalgia, Pregabalin, May Be Linked to Birth Defects
A drug used to treat fibromyalgia, epilepsy and other neuropathic conditions — pregabalin (marketed as Lyrica) — may be associated with an increased risk of major birth defects, including central nervous system and heart defects, especially if taken during the first trimester of a pregnancy. However, the researchers could not establish a clear link, partly because a number of the women studied were taking other medication, especially anti-seizure drugs. The observational study, “Pregnancy outcome following maternal exposure to pregabalin may call for concern,” was published online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Researchers collected information from seven countries on 164 women who took pregabalin during their pregnancy, and 656 pregnant women not on anti-seizure drugs, who were contacted after giving birth. (Pregabalin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain, or pain associated diabetic neuropathy, shingles, and spinal cord injury. It also is approved to treat partial onset seizures in adults with epilepsy, who are taking one or more seizure medications.) Results showed that women who took pregabalin during the first trimester of pregnancy were three times more likely to have a child with major birth defects than those who did not take an
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