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Am Fam Physician. 1997 Oct 15;56(6):1631-6, 1638.

Epilepsy in pregnancy.

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  • 1Lancaster General Hospital, Pennsylvania, USA.


Family physicians who provide obstetric care may periodically encounter a patient with a history of epilepsy, which may manifest before or after pregnancy. In either case, several issues need to be addressed. Pregnant women with epilepsy may have an increased frequency of seizures, with the potential for resultant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Teratogenic effects of antiepileptic drugs include craniofacial abnormalities and neural tube defects. Management strategies include the prenatal use of folic acid and vitamin K, monotherapy with a single antiepileptic drug, and obtaining at least monthly free serum drug levels. Fortunately, with close monitoring and proper management, more than 90 percent of pregnancies in women with epilepsy will be uncomplicated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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