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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does epileptic drugs taken for seizures effect pregnancy?

hellow sir, iam sheela, 25yrs suffering with seizures (last attack on 26th February 2012). non febrile, 5minuts unconscious with jerks followed by vomiting.At present iam on anti-epileptic drug i.e LEVIPIL 500mg. sir my query is i have got married recently. so as i knew epileptic drugs have effects on pregnacy. sir what should you suggest, iam planning for pregnancy.
Wed, 8 Jan 2014
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Greetings !

All epileptic drugs are known for causing abnormalities to the fetus when taken during pregnancy therefore are termed as teratogenic and hence to be best avoided during pregnancy. However it is also important to note that since you are still not completely free of seizures as ideally for 5 years seizures should have not occurred even once to render the person as seizure free and allowing the drug to be discontinued but in your case not even one full year has elapsed since the last episode took place so using the anti epileptic drug is utmost important and this should be conveyed to your partner that as long as the drug is in use there will always be a risk to the baby if you try to conceive.

Also if you choose to discontinue the drug before pregnancy even then there will be a risk to the fetus but this time it will be due to the chances of a seizure episode breaking out during pregnancy.

So in my opinion you should at least wait for 4 more years while continuing on this anti epileptic drug as by then if no more episode of seizure occurs you shall be allowed to discontinue the drug and then you may plan pregnancy.

I hope this makes sense. I apologize if the advice is not to your liking but I got to be honest with you since I want yours and your baby's best health.

Wish you all the best.

Regards
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Does epileptic drugs taken for seizures effect pregnancy?

Greetings ! All epileptic drugs are known for causing abnormalities to the fetus when taken during pregnancy therefore are termed as teratogenic and hence to be best avoided during pregnancy. However it is also important to note that since you are still not completely free of seizures as ideally for 5 years seizures should have not occurred even once to render the person as seizure free and allowing the drug to be discontinued but in your case not even one full year has elapsed since the last episode took place so using the anti epileptic drug is utmost important and this should be conveyed to your partner that as long as the drug is in use there will always be a risk to the baby if you try to conceive. Also if you choose to discontinue the drug before pregnancy even then there will be a risk to the fetus but this time it will be due to the chances of a seizure episode breaking out during pregnancy. So in my opinion you should at least wait for 4 more years while continuing on this anti epileptic drug as by then if no more episode of seizure occurs you shall be allowed to discontinue the drug and then you may plan pregnancy. I hope this makes sense. I apologize if the advice is not to your liking but I got to be honest with you since I want yours and your baby s best health. Wish you all the best. Regards