Some medication can have an effect on the development of the baby so it's important that you discuss planning a pregnancy with your consultant, epilepsy nurse or GP
Some anti-seizure drugs can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill, ‘morning after’ pill and contraceptive implants. These anti-seizure drugs, known as ‘enzyme inducers’, include carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidone and topiramate.
They cause the contraceptive hormones to be removed more quickly from the body. For this reason, girls taking these drugs are usually given contraceptive pills with a higher level of oestrogen and advised about other methods of contraception. This should be discussed with a family planning doctor.
Some anti-seizure drugs can affect foetal development, so changes may be made to medication and doses prior to a pregnancy. For this reason pregnancies should be planned well in advance and monitored from an early stage. It is important that all teenagers are given information about the effects of AEDs on contraception and pregnancy before they become sexually active.
NB Young Epilepsy are currently reviewing our information portfolio which will be updated in October 2023.