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Medications and pregnancy



I have mesial temporal lobe epilpsy and was 100% controlled for 8 years. I went off meds to get pregnant and for 8 months had no problems. I don`t even remember a single aura. I was 6 weeks/5 days pregnant when I got flu. The next night I had a grand mal in my sleep. The next day I started my meds again. Trileptal 500 mg BID/Keppra 600 mg BID. I made it past the neural tube closing and the skeleton starting some, but I know the palate hadn`t closed yet. I took prenatals the entire time. What is my risk of cleft lip/palate? What are my other risks?


The exact risk of a specific birth defect is very difficult to predict. In general risk of a major malformation (like spina bifida, cleft lip/palate) is in the range of 4-6% in women taking seizure medications. The risk may higher with certain seizure medications (like valproate).

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Response by:

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