Epilepsy drugs linked to higher risk of birth defects

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(CNN) - Drugs used to control epileptic seizures are now linked to birth defects. The two drugs are also often prescribed to patients with migraines, pain and bipolar disorder.

Researchers looked at more than 1.8 million pregnancies and found that women who were prescribed valproic acid had a 19 times greater risk of having a baby with spina bifida. Topiramate increased risks of cleft lip and palate.

The chairman-elect of the Epilepsy Foundation says the new study confirms similar findings in other studies.