Mum unaware her epilepsy drugs could harm her twins

An Auckland mother is calling for greater awareness about the links between some epilepsy drugs and birth defects.

Denise Astill says she was unaware her medication could harm her twins.

Denise Astill says she was unaware her medication could harm her twins. Source: 1 NEWS

And her call for better communication between doctors and patients has won some high level support.

Jazmyn and Natasha hang out like typical teens, but birth defects have impaired their development.

"I worry about so much for them," mum Denise told ONE News.

"The thing I worry about most is their independence and their safety."

The twins have ACC cover for life for foetal valproate syndrome - FVS - linked to the anti-epilepsy drug 'Epilim' which their mother took during pregnancy.

Uncontrolled epilepsy is more dangerous to you and your baby than a pregnancy taking valproate. - Medsafe Group manager Stewart Jessamine

Ms Astill says she wasn't told of the risks and she is calling for better dialogue between doctors and epilepsy sufferers considering parenthood.

Health professionals also want doctors and patients to be in sync from the beginning, saying the combination of epilepsy and pregnancy is complex and often difficult to manage.

"Uncontrolled epilepsy is more dangerous to you and your baby than a pregnancy taking valproate. So there's always going to be an informed discussion that needs to take takes place between you and your doctor," Medsafe Group manager Stewart Jessamine said.

"It's about changing that relationship...it becomes a true partnership rather than doctor always knows best," Dr Jessamine said.

But Ms Astill says it's a wider issue as anti-seizure drugs are sometimes prescribed for people who might have a mental health condition, nerve condition or migraines.

"The thing is they might not even know they're on an anti-epileptic drug."



Man arrested following armed offenders callout in Milton

A 56-year-old man has been been arrested following an armed offenders callout to a rural property in the Circle Hill, Milton area.

At about 11pm last night, police were told that a gun had been presented and possibly shot at another person at the Barnes Rd address.

Source: 1 NEWS

The armed offenders squad and local police arrived at the scene and arrested the man.

Police found other guns at the property.

There is some ambiguity surrounding the incident, with two different recounts of the series of events originally presented to police.

Police are currently investigating whether the man fired shots at another person.

Details of the man's court appearance are yet to be confirmed.

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No let-up as foul new year weather moves south

There's no let up to the horror new year weather that has battered large parts of the North Island.

Many North Islanders haven't yet seen the sun in 2016 and plenty of campers have given up waiting.

Torrential rain has brought more than an entire month’s worth of rain to parts of Northland in the past couple of days, but while Northland Civil Defence says heavy rain is still likely overnight and early tomorrow, the amount now predicted is not expected to create any unforeseen problems.

Spokesperson Victoria Randall says several hundred customers in the region were without power for up to several hours while 5000 homes around Auckland also lost power.

The Fire Service responded to about 30 calls for leaking roofs, downed trees and power lines.

Meanwhile businesses are counting the cost of holidaymakers heading home early.

Beaches from the Bay of Plenty all the way to the Far North which had been teeming with holidaymakers are now deserted, meaning businesses that would have profited from the influx of people have had barely any customers.

MetService is forecasting another 60-80mm of rain until 6am tomorrow in northern and eastern parts of Northland, with another 30-50mm possible in remaining areas.

It will still be a bit miserable for the next few days. - Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director John Dragicevich

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Director John Dragicevich says the community and visitors to the Auckland region have responded well to the changeable weather conditions.

And as the bad weather spread south it spoiled the plans for cricket fans in Nelson, washing out New Zealand's fourth one dayer against Sri Lanka at Saxton Oval.

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Homes in Auckland lost power and businesses are counting the cost of holidaymakers heading home early. Source: 1 NEWS