From previous research it is known that women who are taking an AED may have a slightly higher incidence (4-6%) of having babies with birth defects than the general population (2-3%).
The Australian Pregnancy Register (APR) is an independent project that has been running for over 16 years nationally. We are an observational register and collect information about pregnant women with epilepsy, treated and untreated, to determine which AEDs are safest for the baby while protecting the mother from seizures.
Information from pregnancy registers is a valuable resource for the
study of comparative risks and benefits of antiepileptic drugs in
pregnancy. As a result of this study we are getting closer to defining safer treatment choices.
Epilepsy Action Australia recently formed a major partnership with the Australian Pregnancy Register to enable the research to continue and increase the number of women registered. The aim is to increase the number from 2,500 to 5,000 women in 3 years.