Maternal exposure to folic acid antagonists increases risks

December 1, 2008

Exposure to folic acid antagonists during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of placenta-mediated adverse outcomes such as preeclampsia, placental abruption, fetal growth restriction or fetal death reports a retrospective cohort study published in CMAJ www.cmaj.ca/press/pg1263.pdf>.

Folic acid antagonists include a broad range of drugs used to treat epilepsy, mood disorders, hypertension and infections. As approximately 50% of pregnancies in industrialized countries like Canada are unplanned, there is a risk of unintended exposure to these medications.

The study, conducted by researchers from Ottawa, Montreal, Saskatoon and Hunan, China looked at 14 982 women who had taken folic acid antagonists one year prior to delivery and 59 825 women who did not. Dr. Shi Wu Wen and co- researchers found that maternal exposure to folic acid antagonists was associated with a slightly higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. They suggest re-classifying some folic acid antagonists and recommend increased folic acid supplements for women requiring folic acid antagonists during pregnancy.

In a related commentary www.cmaj.ca/press/pg1243.pdf>, Dr. Joel Ray suggests the research study presents some "thought-provoking findings, but the results may not be ready for adoption by clinical practitioners or drug policy makers." He cites some real concerns with the study design and the need for clinically relevant finding as cautions about translating findings into practice.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal

Explore further: Don't block folic acid in early pregnancy

Related Stories

Don't block folic acid in early pregnancy

October 13, 2009

Using medication that reduces or blocks the actions of folic acid during the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks 1-12), increases the risk that the growing baby will develop abnormalities. This conclusion was reached by a ...

New findings on women, pregnancy and the effects of epilepsy

December 13, 2013

New research pertaining to the latest findings on the effects of epilepsy on both the mother and child were presented at the American Epilepsy Society's 67thAnnual Meeting in Washington DC. These studies explore folic acid ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.