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Epilepsy

Tripetal and pregnant women

09/18/2008

Question:

I am suprised that there isn`t any more information or studies on tripetal and pregnant women. I just found out my daughter (19) is one month pregnant and is on trileptal for her seizures. Her neuro doctor told her she would be increasing the dosage as she gets farther along in her pregnancy. I am concerned about all of this. Can you give me any more answers?

Answer:

The choice of medication for epilepsy during pregnancy depend on a number of things. First is the type of epilepsy - partial or generalized onset - some medications work better for each epilepsy syndrome. Second, is that one drug is better than 2 or more drugs. Using one drug lessens the risk of birth defects when compared to using more than one drug. Please note that all drugs carry an increased risk of birth defects. The risk is about 4-6% with one antiepileptic drug compared to a risk of 2-3% with no drugs. We have much more data on the risk of birth defects with Lamictal compared to Trileptal and most epilepsy experts feel that Lamictal is a better choice during pregnancy. Any decision to change medications before pregnancy should be done at least 6 months before the planned pregnancy. In addition, supplemental folic acid in a dose between 1 and 4 mg per day is recommended.

Related Resources:

Medicine During Pregnancy
Pregnancy

For more information:

Go to the Epilepsy health topic, where you can:

Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati