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AED Pregnancy Registry

ABOUT | History

The North American AED (Antiepileptic Drug) Pregnancy Registry

The North American AED (Antiepileptic Drug) Pregnancy Registry

was established in 1997 for pregnant women in the United States and Canada at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts as a philanthropic arm of Harvard Medical School. It was established with funds provided by six companies that manufacture “old” and “new” anticonvulsant drugs. Our major objective is to obtain and publish information on the frequency of major malformations, such as heart defects, spina bifida and cleft lip, among infants whose mothers had taken one or more AEDs to prevent seizures or to treat any other medical condition. The highest priority was new information on the many “new” AEDs marketed in the past 10 years.

was established in 1997 for pregnant women in the United States and Canada at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established with funds provided by six companies that manufacture “old” and “new” anticonvulsant drugs. Our major objective is to obtain and publish information on the frequency of major malformations, such as heart defects, spina bifida and cleft lip, among infants whose mothers had taken one or more AEDs to prevent seizures or to treat any other medical condition. The highest priority was new information on the many “new” AEDs marketed in the past 10 years.

The North American AED (Antiepileptic Drug) Pregnancy Registry is the first hospital-based registry established to determine the safety of seizure medications that can be taken by women during pregnancy. Before the creation of this pregnancy registry, there was no systematic method for determining whether or not each commonly used anticonvulsant drug was associated with an increased frequency of malformations in comparison to infants not exposed to these drugs. In the past, this type of research has only been done by the manufacturers of these drugs. The Registry is proud to be conducting this research within a non-biased academic setting and goes to great lengths to ensure that its research follows scientifically rigorous guidelines in regards to release criteria, anonymity, and confidentiality.

We hope that this method of evaluating drugs will determine which anticonvulsant drugs appear to be safer to use in pregnancy. To do this we need the cooperation of many more eligible women and their health care providers. We are very grateful to the 10,200 women who have enrolled as of May 2016.

AED Pregnancy Registry