The pregnancy outcomes of female albino rats (Rattus Norvegicus) exposed prenatally to varied doses of lamotrigine
Keywords:Lamotrigine, Gestation Period, Anticonvulsants, Trimesters, Teratogenic
The maternal pregnancy outcomes following the in-utero exposure to lamotrigine (LAMT), a second-generation anticonvulsant medicine, have not been well elucidated. Lamotrigine is currently being prescribed widely and increasingly as a first-line medicine in the management of maternal conditions such as partial and generalised epileptic seizures, neuromodulators in mood disorders among others. Previous results have not been conclusive on its safety profile when administered to the expectant women, with some study results reporting that it is safe, and others advocating for more research to be carried out since their results are inconclusive. Data on the effects of prenatal exposure to lamotrigine on maternal pregnancy outcomes following prenatal exposure to varying doses of lamotrigine when administered at different trimesters is therefore of key importance, in order to maximise benefits to expectant women while minimising effects on developing fetuses. A post -test only-control experimental design was adopted using 30 female sexually mature rats weighing 250 + 30 grammes. These female albino rats were divided into two main groups: three rats in the control group and 27 rats in the experimental group. Excel spreadsheets were used to code the data, which was then analysed in SPSS. The study's findings were presented as mean + standard error of the mean (SEM). P<0.05 values were considered statistically significant. Study findings depicted a reduction in daily maternal weight trends, mean maternal weight gain (WG), mean placenta weight (PW), litter size (LS), total number of resorbed glands (RG), and total number of dead foetuses (DF) in a time- and dose-related manner, with the reduction being more pronounced at medium and high lamotrigine dosages, especially when it was administered during the first and the second trimesters. Further studies with higher primates close to humans and clinical trials are recommended to rule out the safety index of lamotrigine during pregnancy.