Friday, December 16, 2011

Treating Epilepsy While Pregnant

Epilepsy drugs have acceptable safety profile with pregnancy

It has been well established that there is a risk of birth defects in the baby for pregnant women taking the anti-seizure medication phenytoin. Newer anti-epileptic drugs are safer, and a new study aimed to confirm the data.

A study has now indicated that the newer anti-epileptic drugs - Lamictal (lamotrigine), Keppra (levetiracetam), and Topamax or Topiragen (topirmate) - pose no additional risk for birth defects as compared with traditional medications used to treat epilepsy.

Ask your specialists about medications and their effects on pregnancy.

The study was conducted at the University of Melbourne and led by Professor Frank Vajda. Prior to this research, data on the health and success of pregnancies among women using newer anti-epileptic drugs was limited.

The study analyzed data on pregnancy outcomes for 1317 women with epilepsy who used the newer drugs in the first trimester. These pregnancies were compared with those of women who used traditional anti-epileptic drugs - Di-Phen/Dilantin/Phenytek (phenytoin), Depacon (valproate), and Tegretol (carbamazepine).

The study also analyzed data on the pregnancy outcomes of a control group of untreated women.

The results showed no higher incidence of birth defects among women taking the newer drugs than among women taking traditional medications or among the control group. Rates of birth defects for each of the three newer medications were equal to or lower than the rate for the untreated control group (5.2%).

The most statistically significant correlation was the high rate of birth defects (16.3%) among women taking valproate.

This study should provide reasonable assurance to pregnant women that taking Lamictal, Keppra, or Topamax will, in all likelihood, not interfere with pregnancy.

The study was published on November 18, 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.

Source : dailyRx (Relevant Health News)



  1. You are welcome Eric. Happy New Year 2012

  2. Thank you for sharing! I am so scared to one day have children with the medication that I'm on. My doctor recommended having my sister carry my children but I am hating the thought of that. I pray that God will take care of this and allow me to one day conceive when I am ready. The gift of a child is so important to me. God bless, Serene.

  3. I fully understand your feelings Amanda. Who in your condition wouldn't. Even in my fairly well controlled idiopathic tonic clonic condition I concieved and carried my only child with great fear, worries and uncertainties. But God has always assured us to trust in Him and everything will turn out well. So, God did bless me with a normal child though I had wished I needn't have to lose my 2nd child through miscarriage.

    As Christians, the most powerful and wonderful thing we have is prayer. Pray to God with all your heart, mind and soul and He will answer your prayers. For He said, " Even before you come to me in prayer I already know your prayers and will attend to it accordingly ".

    God bless you always Amanda dear.


Please write your comments here