Changes in antiepileptic drug-prescribing patterns in pregnant women with epilepsy.
OBJECTIVE: We analyzed current prescribing patterns for antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnant women with epilepsy (PWWE) at 20 USA tertiary epilepsy centers.
METHODS: The Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) study is an NIH-funded, prospective, observational, multicenter investigation of pregnancy outcomes for both mother and child, which enrolled women from December 2012 to January 2016. Inclusion criteria for PWWE included ages 14-45 years and up to 20 weeks gestational age. Exclusion criteria included history of psychogenic nonepileptic spells, expected intelligence quotient (IQ) <70, other major medical illness, progressive cerebral disease, and switching AEDs in pregnancy prior to enrollment.
RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-one PWWE were enrolled in the MONEAD study, which included 259 (73.8%) on monotherapy, 77 (21.9%) on polytherapy, and 15 (4.3%) on no AEDs. The most common AED monotherapy regimens were lamotrigine (42.1% of monotherapies), levetiracetam (37.5%), carbamazepine (5.4%), zonisamide (5.0%), oxcarbazepine (4.6%), and topiramate (3.1%). All other individual monotherapies were each <1%. The most common AED polytherapy combination was lamotrigine + levetiracetam (42.9% of polytherapies), followed by lacosamide + levetiracetam (6.5%), lamotrigine + zonisamide (5.2%), and all other remaining combinations (each <4%); only 5.2% of polytherapy subjects were on ≥3 AEDs (1.1% of total PWWE). Only four subjects (1.1%) were on valproate (1 monotherapy, 3 polytherapy).
CONCLUSIONS: The distribution of AED use likely reflects current prescribing patterns for PWWE cared for in USA tertiary epilepsy centers. This distribution has changed markedly since the turn of the century, but changes in the general population remain uncertain.