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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can taking Dilantin in pregnancy cause behavioural problems in child?

I have a sixteen year old adopted son. We have had a number of behavioural problems with him over the years. Because of his extreme violence toward us he is currently living in a homeless shelter. He is diagnosed with ODD, ADD and non-verbal learning disability. In trouble with the law. His court appointed worker recently attended a fetal alcohol workshop and she is pretty sure he has FASD. When I was going through the records that the adoption agency provided us with I found out the mother was epileptic and had taken Dilantin throughout the pregnancy. In addition he has a biological half brother and sister with similar problems and also mental health issues. He has no facial features or other physical problems that would indicate anything.
Tue, 29 Dec 2020
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi,

Dilantin use during pregnancy may cause behavioral problems in the child. Infants of epileptic mothers (on dilantin) are at a greater risk of major malformations such as congenital heart disease, dysmorphic facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including small head), and mental deficiency.

There are reports of some infants and children may experience delays in reaching developmental milestones such as learning to sit up or crawl. Behavioral abnormalities such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD), eye defects including nearsightedness (myopia), joint laxity, kidney abnormalities, and inguinal or umbilical hernia are also being reported.

Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali, General & Family Physician
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Can taking Dilantin in pregnancy cause behavioural problems in child?

Hi, Dilantin use during pregnancy may cause behavioral problems in the child. Infants of epileptic mothers (on dilantin) are at a greater risk of major malformations such as congenital heart disease, dysmorphic facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including small head), and mental deficiency. There are reports of some infants and children may experience delays in reaching developmental milestones such as learning to sit up or crawl. Behavioral abnormalities such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD), eye defects including nearsightedness (myopia), joint laxity, kidney abnormalities, and inguinal or umbilical hernia are also being reported. Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali, General & Family Physician