Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 8

Epilepsy during pregnancy: focus on management strategies

Authors Borgelt L, Hart F, Bainbridge J

Received 22 June 2016

Accepted for publication 25 July 2016

Published 19 September 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 505—517

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S98973

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Laura M Borgelt,1 Felecia M Hart,2 Jacquelyn L Bainbridge2

1Departments of Clinical Pharmacy and Family Medicine, 2Departments of Clinical Pharmacy and Neurology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aurora, CO, USA

Abstract: In the US, more than one million women with epilepsy are of childbearing age and have over 20,000 babies each year. Patients with epilepsy who become pregnant are at risk of complications, including changes in seizure frequency, maternal morbidity and mortality, and congenital anomalies due to antiepileptic drug exposure. Appropriate management of epilepsy during pregnancy may involve frequent monitoring of antiepileptic drug serum concentrations, potential preconception switching of antiepileptic medications, making dose adjustments, minimizing peak drug concentration with more frequent dosing, and avoiding potentially teratogenic medications. Ideally, preconception planning will be done to minimize risks to both the mother and fetus during pregnancy. It is important to recognize benefits and risks of current and emerging therapies, especially with revised pregnancy labeling in prescription drug product information. This review will outline risks for epilepsy during pregnancy, review various recommendations from leading organizations, and provide an evidence-based approach for managing patients with epilepsy before, during, and after pregnancy.

Keywords: epilepsy, teratogens, anticonvulsants, medication therapy management

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]