Antiseizure Medication Concentrations During Pregnancy: Results From the Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) Study.

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IMPORTANCE: During pregnancy in women with epilepsy, lower blood concentrations of antiseizure medications can have adverse clinical consequences.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize pregnancy-associated concentration changes for several antiseizure medications among women with epilepsy.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Enrollment in this prospective, observational cohort study, Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD), occurred from December 19, 2012, to February 11, 2016, at 20 US sites. Enrolled cohorts included pregnant women with epilepsy and nonpregnant control participants with epilepsy. Inclusion criteria were women aged 14 to 45 years, an intelligence quotient greater than 70 points, and, for the cohort of pregnant women, a fetal gestational age younger than 20 weeks. A total of 1087 women were assessed for eligibility; 397 were excluded and 230 declined. Data were analyzed from May 1, 2014, to June 30, 2021.

EXPOSURE: Medication plasma concentrations in women taking monotherapy or in combination with noninteracting medications. The cohort of pregnant women was monitored through 9 months post partum, with similar time points for control participants.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Dose-normalized concentrations were calculated as total or unbound plasma medication concentrations divided by total daily dose. Phlebotomy was performed during 4 pregnancy study visits and 3 postpartum visits for the pregnant women and 7 visits over 18 months for control participants. The primary hypothesis was to test pregnancy changes of dose-normalized concentrations from nonpregnant postpartum samples compared with those of control participants.

RESULTS: Of the 351 pregnant women and 109 control participants enrolled in MONEAD, 326 pregnant women (median [range] age, 29 [19-43] years) and 104 control participants (median [range] age, 29 [16-43] years) met eligibility criteria for this analysis. Compared with postpartum values, dose-normalized concentrations during pregnancy were decreased by up to 56.1% for lamotrigine (15.60 μg/L/mg to 6.85 μg/L/mg; P < .001), 36.8% for levetiracetam (11.33 μg/L/mg to 7.16 μg/L/mg; P < .001), 17.3% for carbamazepine (11.56 μg/L/mg to 7.97 μg/L/mg; P = .03), 32.6% for oxcarbazepine (11.55 μg/L/mg to 7.79 μg/L/mg; P < .001), 30.6% for unbound oxcarbazepine (6.15 μg/L/mg to 4.27 μg/L/mg; P < .001), 39.9% for lacosamide (26.14 μg/L/mg to 15.71 μg/L/mg; P < .001), and 29.8% for zonisamide (40.12 μg/L/mg to 28.15 μg/L/mg; P < .001). No significant changes occurred for unbound carbamazepine, carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, and topiramate, although a decrease was observed for topiramate (29.83 μg/L/mg to 13.77 μg/L/mg; P = .18). Additionally, compared with dose-normalized concentrations from control participants, pregnancy dose-normalized median (SE) concentrations decreased significantly by week of gestational age: carbamazepine, -0.14 (0.06) μg/L/mg (P = .02); carbamazepine unbound, -0.04 (0.01) μg/L/mg (P = .01); lacosamide, -0.23 (0.07) μg/L/mg (P < .001); lamotrigine, -0.20 (0.02) μg/L/mg (P < .001); levetiracetam, -0.06 (0.03) μg/L/mg (P = .01); oxcarbazepine, -0.14 (0.04) μg/L/mg (P < .001); oxcarbazepine unbound, -0.11 (0.03) μg/L/mg (P < .001); and zonisamide, -0.53 (0.14) μg/L/mg (P < .001) except for topiramate (-0.35 [0.20] μg/L/mg per week) and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide (0.02 [0.01] μg/L/mg).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Study results suggest that therapeutic drug monitoring should begin early in pregnancy and that increasing doses of these anticonvulsants may be needed throughout the course of pregnancy.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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