Folic Acid

What if I am already pregnant, have epilepsy and taking anti-epileptic drugs?

22 February 2009
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'What if I am already pregnant, have epilepsy and taking anti-epileptic drugs?' image

If you find that you are already pregnant and on anti-epileptic drugs, do not stop taking your anti-epileptic drugs unless advised by your doctor. Start taking folic acid 5mg as soon as possible and continue until your first check up with your maternity hospital/GP/Neurologist. It is important to then contact the Irish Pregnancy & Epilepsy Register.

The Republic of Ireland Pregnancy Register was launched in May 2001.

The aims of the service were to:

  1. Establish the relative safety of anti-epileptic drugs with reference to major malformations in the offspring of women with epilepsy.
  2. To establish whether seizure frequency is related to adverse outcome in pregnancy.
  3. To monitor the rate of pre-conceptual folic acid administration in women with epilepsy and whether this beneficially affects outcome.
  4. To educate individuals about epilepsy and pregnancy, by giving preconception, pregnancy and post pregnancy advice.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact:

Community Epilepsy Specialist Nurse, Brainwave advice line on 01 4557500 or Epilepsy & Pregnancy Register Nurse at free phone 1800 320 820.

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