Background: Carbamazepine is one of the three most frequently prescribed antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy. However, data relating to both carbamazepine and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide transplacental passage remain sparse.
Material and methods: We have analysed in a cohort of 114 women carbamazepine and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide levels in maternal and umbilical cord serum at birth during 25 years retrospectively. The carbamazepine maternal apparent oral clearance, ratio of the umbilical cord/maternal level and ratio of the carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide/carbamazepine ratio were estimated. The influence of co-medication with valproic acid or enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs was evaluated.
Results: The maternal carbamazepine levels varied from 0.6 to 11.8mg/L (carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide 0.1-2.5mg/L) and in umbilical cord between 0.1 and 10.5mg/L (carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide 0.1-2.2mg/L). The ratio the of umbilical cord/maternal level of carbamazepine ranged from 0.03 to 2.23 (median 0.80) and of carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide between 0.17 and 2.00 (median 0.83). Concomitant administration with enzyme inducers significantly increased the maternal apparent oral clearance by approximately 50% and co-administration with valproic acid approximately by 70%. Combination with valproic acid significantly increased the rate of carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide to the parent drug both in maternal serum (by approximately 80%) and in umbilical cord (by 100%).
Conclusions: The data showed the wide interindividual variability of the ratio of the umbilical cord/maternal level of both carbamazepine and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide. It is the first study showing the significant increase of the ratio of umbilical cord/maternal level of carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide and carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide/carbamazepine ratio not only in maternal serum but also in umbilical cord in addition of valproic acid. The present study demonstrates that a concomitant administration of enzyme-inducing antiepileptics and valproic acid increases the maternal apparent oral clearance of carbamazepine significantly.
Keywords: Carbamazepine; Carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide; Delivery; Drug–drug interaction; Epilepsy; Therapeutic drug monitoring.
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