Seizure deterioration in women treated with oxcarbazepine during pregnancy

Epilepsy Res. 2009 Apr;84(2-3):245-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Feb 23.


Thirteen pregnancies in ten women on oxcarbazepine (OXC) monotherapy and one pregnancy in a woman on OXC and topiramate therapy were retrospectively analyzed. A significant decrease of ratio plasma concentration of 10-monohydroxy derivate (MHD) of oxcarbazepine to dosage was found by 26.2% during first trimester, by 36.5% during second trimester and by 38.2% during third trimester when compared to pre-pregnant levels. Eight patients experienced seizure deterioration during the pregnancy, five of which had been seizure-free before the pregnancy. In seven pregnancies (50%) the seizure frequency was at least doubled during pregnancy compared to a pre-pregnancy baseline. There was a trend toward a correlation between seizure deterioration and decrease in plasma concentration of MHD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Carbamazepine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Carbamazepine / blood
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Trimesters / blood
  • Pregnancy Trimesters / drug effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Carbamazepine
  • Oxcarbazepine