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Epilepsy and Pregnancy

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Old 07-20-2004, 01:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15
NeuroGirl HB User
Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted in a while. I hope everyone is doing well.

I was curious as to if anyone had any information on pregnancy and epilepsy. I was told by my doctor that I would have to stop taking Dilantin if I wanted to become pregnant. She said the reason I would have to stop it is because there is a high risk of birth deftects. That really made my day!

Anyway, if anyone has any info on this or if anyone here takes Dilantin (or other AE meds) and has become pregnant and can share your story I would really appreciate it.

Take care,


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Old 07-22-2004, 01:31 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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amydianne1 HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Hi Tina~

I am currently pregnant and in my 8th month...I was on Dilantin at one time about a year ago, but got off of it because of the side effects. Now I am on Lamictal (my wonder drug) and feel so much better. The pregnancy was a surprise to us, and my main concern was the medication, however my doctor made me feel a little better by saying that Lamictal was one of the best meds I could be on when I got pregnant, less chance of birth defects, etc. I started taking Folic Acid as soon as I found out I was pregnant, but the best scenario is taking it before you even get pregnant. In fact, my neurologist even wants me to stay on prenatal vitamins after I have the baby, they're good for you plus if I happen to get pregnant again, I'll have a head start with the folic acid.

I know that Dilantin is one of the older drugs and definitely not the best one to be on, my neuro had said it was a good thing I was not taking it when I got pregnant, it has a much higher rate of birth defects. Your neurologist should have something that has the statistics on different drugs and chances of birth defects/problems for each one. I know that Lamictal was one of the best ones you could possibly be on. Or, there is a national pregnancy registry that has the statistics on pregnancies and different drugs.

Hope that helps some!


Old 07-22-2004, 09:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 108
MandiX HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Hey Tina. I have been on carbatrol for 5 years but i'm being weaned off of it and onto lamictal. I'm only 21 but we want to make sure since i definately want a family, that the lamictal works before it gets too close to me wanting a child etc etc. Ive heard only success stories with pregnancy and lamictal.

I actually take folic acid now. Folates are responsible for the production of red and white blood cells and platelets...which many AED deplete from your system. I also take B-12 and C.
"there's no such thing as normal, just a lot of weird people with things in common."

Old 08-01-2004, 07:38 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 6
Karen-Ann HB User
Talking Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

I am not a doctor so I am not going to downplay what you have been told. I have had epilepsy for 30 years, since I was 10. I was on Phenobarb, Dilantin and Zarontin when I fell pregant, not a good combination. I had what the specialists deemed to be slow growth in the fetus and had a lot of scans to rule out skelectural problems with the baby. My daughter has just turned 16 and is as adorable as a sixteen year old can be. I have had two other girls on Epilum, the first was born with collapsed lungs and the second had a hole in her heart. They too are both fine now. I am very lucky, I feel I pushed the boundaries. I also breast feed all of my children. My husband was very supportive after the birth and helped at night, however I think my milk may have helped my angels sleep . You will need your rest no matter what happens. I don't think I was very well informed and wish I had of joined a site like this or gathered some true life information that would have given me more knowledge. I hope you have a good doctor that can advise you on whats best for you as well as the baby. Take care and enjoy your new life. Look forward to hearing more Karen-Ann

Old 09-09-2007, 03:40 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: port angles
Posts: 1
mili1980 HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Hi Amy,

i am taking lamictal from last 1.5 years and havent had any problem so far. i am planning to become pregnant now and wanted to know whether you had any sideeffects taking lamictal when you were pregnant or baby had any problem, please inform me , i am very much tensed and confused whether to get pregnant or not.

Waiting for your reply.

Thanks in advance,


Old 09-09-2007, 04:13 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 225
amydianne1 HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Hi Mili~

My daughter actually just turned 3 on Friday, and she is doing great. I had no problems with medication during my pregnancy, and no problems afterwards. My daughter was a surprise (a great one), but it was very scary because I was not intending to become pregnant when I did, mainly because I had not been on the Lamictal very long and I was still having uncontrollable seizures. At the time, Lamictal was one of the safest, if not THE safest drug to be on when you got pregnant. That's been three years ago, so it could have changed, but I'm sure it's still a good one to be on. The thing I would DEFINITELY recommend is to start taking prenatal vitamins if you are even "thinking" of becoming pregnant. My neuro recommends all of his female patients in their child-bearing years to take them. (I would ask your doctor his opinion and if you should go ahead and take them.) I am happy with the Lamictal, and when my husband and I decide to have another baby, I have no problem staying on these. As far as my daugther goes, we have seen no trace of any kind of problem with her, in fact at every well visit she is doing things ahead of schedule on many things. Please feel free to ask many anymore questions, I know it's kind of scary!

Old 10-15-2007, 06:15 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6
babygurl21 HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

I was just wondering for all those who are or have been pregnant. If your seizures got worse or better during your pregnancy?

Old 10-16-2007, 05:32 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 225
amydianne1 HB User
Re: Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Mine actually got better...In fact, I had a few seizures right after I got pregnant (I was about 2-3 weeks along) and then never had even one after that.

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