Contrary to prior research, a study appearing in Obstetrics & Gynecology reports no increased risk of seizures in neonates born to mothers exposed to calcium channel blockers (CCBs) in late pregnancy.

After a previous study saw a marked increase in risk of neonatal seizures in term neonates born to mothers who used CCBs in the third trimester, Brian T. Bateman, MD, MSc, and colleagues extracted data from the Medicaid Analytic eXtract on 2,529,636 pregnancies from 2000–2007. Neonatal seizures up to 90 days post-delivery were compared to use of CCBs in the final month of pregnancy; CCBs included amlodipine, besylate, diltiazem hydrochloride, nifedipine, and verapamil hydrochloride.

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Of the competed term pregnancies, 0.91% included exposure to CCBs during the final month of pregnancy. The most commonly used CCB was nifedipine followed by amlodipine besylate, verapamil hydrochloride, and diltiazem hydrochloride . Neonatal seizures occurred in 0.23% of neonates born to mothers exposed to CCBs vs. 0.18% of unexposed women. After accounting for confounders, there was no increased risk of neonatal seizures associated with CCB exposure.

Based on these findings obstetricians can continue to prescribe CCBs to pregnant patients, the authors concluded.

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