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, 11 (9), e5642

Women With Epilepsy: Anti-epileptic Drugs and Perinatal Outcomes


Women With Epilepsy: Anti-epileptic Drugs and Perinatal Outcomes

Tooba Kashif et al. Cureus.


Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that requires treatment throughout the pregnancy. Seizures should be well controlled before conception with a specific type of anti-epileptic drug (AED) for each epileptic syndrome. The selection of AED is crucial in women with epilepsy (WWE). AEDs with the lowest malformations rates should be used for treatment during pregnancy. Valproate should be avoided in WWE of childbearing age as it is associated with the highest risk of neurocognitive malformations. However, pregnancy might alter the levels of AEDs, which can lead to an increase in seizure frequency. It is important to monitor AED levels and make necessary dose adjustments to control seizures during pregnancy. WWE should be treated with the lowest possible dose allowed and preferably with a single AED to avoid harmful effects on the developing fetus. Women should be counseled to take folic acid during pregnancy as it reduces the risks for cardiovascular, genitourinary, and neural tube defects. Generally, WWE usually have normal pregnancies and can bear healthy offspring. Pregnant women need continuous follow-up in a coordinated manner with the neurologist and obstetrician to assess for adverse pregnancy and fetal outcomes.

Keywords: anti-epileptic drugs; congenital malformations; malformation; neuro-cognitive; perinatal outcomes; pregnancy complications; pregnant women.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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