The US Food and Drug Administration established the Sentinel System to monitor the safety of medical products. A component of this system includes parameterizable analytic tools to identify mother-infant pairs and evaluate infant outcomes to enable the routine monitoring of the utilization and safety of drugs used in pregnancy. We assessed the feasibility of using the data and tools in the Sentinel System by assessing a known association between topiramate use during pregnancy and oral clefts in the infant.
We identified mother-infant pairs using the mother-infant linkage table from six data partners contributing to the Sentinel Distributed Database from January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2015. We compared mother-infant pairs with first-trimester exposure to topiramate to mother-infant pairs that were topiramate-unexposed or lamotrigine-exposed and used a validated algorithm to identify oral clefts in the infant. We estimated adjusted risk ratios through propensity score stratification.
There were 2007 topiramate-exposed and 1 066 086 unexposed mother-infant pairs in the main comparison. In the active-comparator analysis, there were 1996 topiramate-exposed and 2859 lamotrigine-exposed mother-infant pairs. After propensity score stratification, the odds ratio for oral clefts was 2.92 (95% CI: 1.43, 5.93) comparing the topiramate-exposed to unexposed groups and 2.72 (95% CI: 0.75, 9.93) comparing the topiramate-exposed to lamotrigine-exposed groups.
We found an increased risk of oral clefts after topiramate exposure in the first trimester in the Sentinel database. These results are similar to prior published observational study results and demonstrate the ability of Sentinel's data and analytic tools to assess medical product safety in cohorts of mother-infant pairs in a timely manner.