FACS SYNDROME - WHAT IS THIS?

Anti Convulsants (AEDs)are prescribed for many things such as :

Epilepsy

Depression

Pain Relief

Bipolar Disorder

Mood Swings

Migraine

Fetal Anti Convulsant Syndrome (FACS) is diagnosed by a medical specialist when the child of a mother who has needed to take anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy has a combination of specific physical malformations, characteristic facial features and/ or neuro- development or cognitive difficulties, and no other cause can be found for these problems.

FACS is thought to arise because some anti-convulsants taken to treat conditions such as Epilepsy etc pass through the placenta and into the developing fetus.  It is also dependant on the dosage that the mum has been prescribed so for example the higher the dosage of medicine the more possibilities of the child having FACS.  Our recent figures show that around 1300 babies are born each year in the UK with FACS.  A figure that is continuously growing as more ladies are being prescribed AEDs to control various illness.

 

 

 

Currently on the market there are 20 other Anti Epileptic Medications.  The list below are the names of medications in which like Sodium Valproate if taken during pregnancy could have an affect on the foetus.

Phenobarbitone - 1912

Phenytoin           - 1938

Primidone           - 1952

Ethosuximide     - 1955

Carbamazipine   -1965

Diazepam            - 1973

Clonazepam        - 1974

Vigabatrin           - 1973

Clobazam            - 1979

Acetazolomide   - 1988

Lamotrigine        - 1991

The years next to the medication name are the year it came out in the UK