Hi everyone. I haven't been on here a while since my RTL surgery in 2005. I knew that I could find the right help from all of you. I was not able to come off meds completely. (the tiny area they could not operate on in my parietal lobe, causes me to have minor ringing in my left ear if I am not taking meds) I am not experiencing seizures and feel great. I must take 500mg keppra 2x a day to not have any ringing in my ear. I can live with this very happily considering what I was on before.
I have recently found out that I am pregnant. It happened as soon as we started (this was a relief because my cycle was so erratic, anyway from 31-47 days)I am yet to visit my (high risk) obgyn for my first prenatal visit (I consulted with him when we were trying to conceive). I think that I am about three weeks along, not sure yet. My epileptologist said that he wants me to get my keppra levels now and probably will double it within time throughout the duration of the pregnancy. He will do this once he sees a drop in levels in my bloodstream. Overall I am fit and eat very healthy. I don't smoke or drink. I just need any advice, or pregnancy experiences, in particular with Keppra. There is not much info out there. All experiences in pregnancy with epilepsy are welcomed. Thank you so much for your insight!
Hi Anna Its so good to have you back on the boards, CONGRATS!! on your baby, I really hope things turn out ok. My surgery last year went great as well, and like you Im on Keppra 3000mg/day trying to get my neuro to lower my doses so I can also get pregnant. I been doing lots of research on this meds, and as you said not much its given. My GYN told me its a high risk med for the fetus depending on the dose, but my Neuro told me it wouldnt be a problem to get pregnant as long as I was on Folic Acid. Your the firt person I find to be pregnant and on Keppra, so Please keep us updated on your pregnancy, and your epileptologist advise or concerns. Congrats angain
My husband and I are also thinking about having a baby, which I brought up with my neuro at my last visit. I have been well controlled on Tegretol for over a decade, but it makes me very tired, and, when coupled with a newly diagnosed chronic condition, would make parenting very difficult. He recommended switching me over to Keppra, which might make me less fatigued and which has the added effect of (they think) preserving bone health in the long term.
Since this time, I bought two new books, both of which I have found helpful. The first is "Epilepsy: A Patient & Family Guide" by Dr. Orrin Devinsky and the second is "Epilepsy and Pregnancy" by Stacey Chillemi & Dr. Blanca Vazquez. I have only just started on the second, published in 2006, but have thoroughly devoured the former, published in 2008, and have found it very helpful. There is a significant amount of info in there about pregnancy, seizures, antiepileptic drugs, & risks of transmission. The long and short of it, from what I've read, is that no one's really sure about Keppra and babies. The book does provide a general presentation of the potential side effects for antiepileptic drugs, which was helpful but worrisome. He does make a point of saying that more than 90% of women with epilepsy have healthy babies.
The long-term side effects of Keppra are not, according to this book, yet known. As for babies, however, the author does indicate that "available data suggest that [keppra] monotherapy may be safe [for the fetus], but more data is needed." Sorry that I can't be more helpful. Please keep us posted. It is a road that I too may be walking soon enough and I would appreciate any insight you might be able to offer as you go through this. Good luck and congratulations!
There is a little. Trileptal, also being a new drug, is only just starting to be studied in pregnant women. The book does, however, indicate that "polytherapy is consistently more dangerous to the fetus than monotherapy." Of course, having a seizure while pregnant is more dangerous, so the drugs seem the better way to go. Apparently, tho, most people who have 1-2 more tonic clonic seizures while pregnant will still have healthy babies.
The "Epilepsy and Pregnancy" book lists Trileptal as a "Medium-Risk Medication" during pregnancy, while Keppra is listed as "Low-Risk." According to this book, medium risk meds "taken in a low does-with no other meds and with the addition of folic acid-are reasonably safe." Low-risk meds are drugs that, "according to available research...have no more risk than the risk that is usually associated with epilepsy itself," altho it is important to note that this view is based largely on animal experiments.
Trileptal is categorized by the FDA as a category D drug, which is to say that "there is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may outweigh the risk." Keppra is a category C drug, meaning that "some animal studies have suggested a fetal risk and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite risk." The "Epilepsy and Pregnancy" book does describe Trileptal as "an excellent, safe anticonvulsant," however. That's all I could find. If I find anything more, I'll put up a subsequent post. Hope it helps a little.
Thanks You so much for the info, Im trying to piece things together since I been seizure free after surgery 17 months now, and want to conceive. Neuro tells me I can since I been on Folic acid for months now, but my GYN says I should tamper off all meds first, which wont be until next year, which all togther can calculate for a bit more than a year. I guess no Doc or studies can defenetly define the effects of these meds on any fetus due to them being so new in the market; but thanks again for your reply, and if you hear of anything else let me know. I guess Ill keep waiting for now
Just as a follow-up as I've been getting into the new "Epilepsy and Pregnancy" book, it turns out that the author was herself on Trileptal and phenobarbital for all three of her pregnancies and none of her children had any birth defects or have, as of yet, demonstrated any learning disabilities, behavioral problems, etc. She indicates that Trileptal is apparently used quite frequently in Europe with pregnant women who have epilepsy. Thought you might find that interesting.
Very interesting, first time I hear of trileptal and pregnancy. This is getting better and better, I wonder if they ever used it on anyone in the US... Anyways thanks so much for taking time to reply, I will take this information to my neuro and see what he thinks, not all neuro's follow the same rules of meds and pregnancies.. Thanks again
Hi there Mott07, so I went to my neuro appoint yesterday. In 2 days I'll be 2 and a half years seizure free. So we discussed taking me off the trileptal completetly n staying on the keppra for the pregnancy, but I chickened out n decided to stay on both meds durring my pregnancy so my risk will b lower but high doses of folic acid and prenatal meds should be enough to keep my fetus healthy. Neuro told me it will be just fine because the chances of any diformikties are 3-4% only. What you think im crazy?..lol
hamada I know of a few women who have had healthy kids on keppra and do just fine. I spoke to my neuro and im staying on keppra 3000mg a day and trileptal 600mgs a day during my pregnancy. well when i decide to get pregnant which I think will be no later then a few months. Ill still kep everyone posted.
Unfortunately, I only know of Dilantin and pregnancy but it ends up well.I have three beautiful children,all of whom are college graduates and straight A students,that are results from Dilantin and Vitamin K. My doctor told me to take Vitamin K to contol bleeding if there should be any. I did not have any problems. My oldest is a Train Master,my middle son is soon to be a Lawyer and my daughter is and RN. The meds do not hurt the fetus if taken correctly. I have been on Dilantin for about 34 years. Hope this helps. Now that you know my family history!! Can you tell I am a tiny bit PROUD??!!!
hi! i have seizure i m taking valporic acid i stop my medicine because i found that i m pregnant but after two weeks my seizure come back and my doc said take keppra and stop slowly slowly valporic acid i just want to know that keppra is ok for my baby i waiting for ans thankyou
I use Keppra and am thinking about getting pregnant pretty soon, but I would try and switch to another drug given the way it's classified regarding safety during pregnancy. I'm pretty sure that it has been shown to cause birth defects in non-human animals when taken during pregnancy.
Hi everyone. I have been absent from the boards for quite some time. Let me give you an update how my pregnancy and my child is doing.Throughout the pregnancy my Keppra increased from 500mg bid to 1000mg bid. (and currently I am back to 500mg bid) This was due to blood volume doubling and my Keppra diluting in my blood. My epileptologist and mfm specialist ensured me that the baby was not being exposed to anymore medicine, the concentration of keppra was proportionate to my blood volume.
No complications during pregnancy at all. Throughout all the sonograms, my mfm specialist said everything about my child was perfect. My daughter is a year old, and she is perfect. She has hit all her milestones and most of them early! I even breast fed her for the first three months. I only stopped because supply could not meet demand lol.
My labor was complication free overall, but because I was not dilated, I had to get induced (two weeks after my due date). My daughter was born in three hours.
I am one positive case of being pregnant while on Keppra (monotherapy) and delivering a perfectly healthy baby. Currently I am now in my first trimester with baby #2 and feel a lot more sure of the whole process and my baby's safety. I continue to eat a super healthy diet this pregnancy and pray for the same outcome as my first child. I registered for the Keppra registry and my daughter milestones are being tracked so that one day a comprehensive study can give accurate information to women who are pregnant while on Keppra now. If you are pregnant and on Keppra, please register, all information is confidential. I wish I had concrete information about this topic while I was pregnant, now I can give back.