Red cell folate levels in pregnant epileptic women

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1995;48(3-4):305-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00198317.


Red cell folate concentrations were determined in 74 epileptic women in early pregnancy in a prospective study. All patients were treated continuously with antiepileptic drugs since before conception. The most frequently used drugs were carbamazepine (n = 39) and phenytoin (n = 26). Sixty-four patients (86%) were on monotherapy. Blood samples for red cell folate and antiepileptic drug concentrations were drawn before folate supplementation. Red cell folate levels in patients, 468 nmol.l-1, did not differ from those in non-epileptic, drug-free, pregnant women, 416 nmol.l-1 or from those in non-pregnant age-matched healthy controls, 412 nmol.l-1. No correlation was found between red cell folate concentrations and doses or plasma levels of phenytoin or carbamazepine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbamazepine / blood
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Phenytoin / blood
  • Pregnancy


  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenytoin
  • Folic Acid