Teratogenic risk and contraceptive counselling in psychiatric practice: analysis of anticonvulsant therapy

Langan-Martin, J. , Perry, A. and Oto, M. (2013) Teratogenic risk and contraceptive counselling in psychiatric practice: analysis of anticonvulsant therapy. BMC Psychiatry, 13(234), (doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-234)

Langan-Martin, J. , Perry, A. and Oto, M. (2013) Teratogenic risk and contraceptive counselling in psychiatric practice: analysis of anticonvulsant therapy. BMC Psychiatry, 13(234), (doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-234)

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Abstract

<p>Background: Anticonvulsants have been used to manage psychiatric conditions for over 50 years. It is recognised that some, particularly valproate, carbamazepine and lamotrigine, are human teratogens, while others including topiramate require further investigation. We aimed to appraise the documentation of this risk by psychiatrists and review discussion around contraceptive issues.</p> <p>Methods: A retrospective review of prescribing patterns of four anticonvulsants (valproate, carbamazepine, lamotrigine and topiramate) in women of child bearing age was undertaken. Documented evidence of discussion surrounding teratogenicity and contraceptive issues was sought.</p> <p>Results: Valproate was most commonly prescribed (n=67). Evidence of teratogenic risk counselling at medication initiation was sub-optimal – 40% of individuals prescribed carbamazepine and 22% of valproate. Documentation surrounding contraceptive issues was also low- 17% of individuals prescribed carbamazepine and 13% of valproate.</p> <p>Conclusion: We found both low rates of teratogenic risk counselling and low rates of contraception advice in our cohort. Given the high rates of unplanned pregnancies combined with the relatively high risk of major congenital malformations, it is essential that a detailed appraisal of the risks and benefits associated with anticonvulsant medication occurs and is documented within patients’ psychiatric notes.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Langan-Martin, Dr Julie and Oto, Dr Maria
Authors: Langan-Martin, J., Perry, A., and Oto, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BMC Psychiatry
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-244X
ISSN (Online):1471-244X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Psychiatry13(234)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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