Effects of intravenous progesterone infusions on the epileptic discharge frequency in women with partial epilepsy

Acta Neurol Scand. 1984 Apr;69(4):240-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1984.tb07807.x.


Earlier work showed that in a group of women suffering from partial epilepsy, there is a decrease in seizure frequency during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Moreover, iv progesterone infusions decrease the discharge frequency from penicillin epileptic foci in cats, when given in doses that reach plasma concentrations as observed during pregnancy. In the present study, iv progesterone infusions, reaching plasma concentrations as during the luteal phase, were given to 7 women with partial epilepsy. The inclusion criterion was that they should have more than one epileptic discharge per 5 min on an ordinary EEG . A 6 h EEG-registration was made. Blank and progesterone solutions were infused for 2 h respectively and the progesterone infusion was followed by a 2 h EEG recording period. 4 of the 7 patients showed a significant decrease in spike frequency during the infusion. In the patients not showing this effect, the plasma progesterone binding capacity was high. The 2 patients with the most marked progesterone effect had low progesterone binding capacity and no antiepileptic treatment. Somnolence during the test might also have influenced the results in 2 of the patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / epidemiology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Luteal Phase
  • Occipital Lobe / physiopathology
  • Progesterone / administration & dosage*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Progesterone Congeners / administration & dosage
  • Progesterone-Binding Globulin / blood
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Time Factors


  • Progesterone Congeners
  • Progesterone-Binding Globulin
  • Progesterone