Prenatal exposure to valproic acid and gabapentin on maternal, fetal, neonatal weight gain and postnatal development

Singh, K.P. and Kiran Gupta

Weight gain in adult patients with hyperphagia is the main concern of long term antiepileptic therapy, but little concern has been taken in pregnant women and their fetal development (weight) as well as long- lasting impact on postnatal growth of the offspring.Sperm positive female C.F. rats were exposed to different doses of Valproic acid (VPA) (50,100 and 200mg/kg body weight) and Gabapentin (GBP) (300 and 400 mg/kg) from gestation day (GD) 0-20 orally with control subjects.Maternal food intake and body weight gain were recorded daily. Half of the pregnant rats of each group were sacrificed on GD21, and fetal body weight was recorded. Remaining dams were allowed to deliver naturally, and their pups were reared up to postnatal day (PND) 56. The offspring’s body weights were also determined weekly up to 8 weeks of age. Gestational exposure to VPA and GBP induced dose- dependent substantial reduction of maternal food intake, body weight deficit, fetal weight loss, and long- lasting negative impact on postnatal development and growth of rat offspring at birth and continued till PND 56. This study concludes that short exposure to equivalent therapeutic doses of VPA and GBP to pregnant dams induced not only reduced maternal food consumption and body weight loss but also impaired the fetal growth at full term, and postnatal growth of rat offspring was also found substantially reduced up to 8 weeks of age. Hence, precautions are required before therapeutic use of atypical AEDs like GBP during pregnancy.

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