Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of respiratory tract infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma, and diabetes in children, as well as diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression in mothers.
Despite these advantages, some women may choose to discontinue nursing due to worries about the risks of antiepileptic drug exposure.
During a presentation of the results of the MONEAD and NEAD studies at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in 2022. Antiseizure medication appears to be safe throughout pregnancy, according to the presenter, and he also advised lactating women with epilepsy to breastfeed their children, citing the many benefits of breastfeeding.
The MONEAD research enlisted the participation of 145 women from 20 different places. The researchers examined the results of 284 epileptic women with 87 healthy women in a cohort trial involving 565 participants. The actual study began in January 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by February 28, 2023. 79 percent of the women with epilepsy in the research were on monotherapy, while just 21% were on polytherapy. 35% were given lamotrigine, 28% were given levetiracetam, 16% were given another monotherapy, 10% were given a combination of lamotrigine and levetiracetam, and 11% were given a different combination. During the studies, the scientists included and omitted a variety of factors.
According to the results of the Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) study, using antiseizure drugs while breastfeeding is not linked to changes in child cognitive outcomes at the age of three.
The research builds on the findings of the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Medicines (NEAD) study, which found no evidence of cognitive impairment in infants exposed to antiepileptic drugs while still in the womb.
The participants in the NEAD study were tracked until they were six years old, and the researchers discovered that their cognition had improved.