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Seizure Medications Effects on Fetus, Neonate, and Lactation 

Seizure Medications Effects on Fetus, Neonate, and Lactation
Chapter:
Seizure Medications Effects on Fetus, Neonate, and Lactation
Author(s):

Tara A. Lynch

, and J. Christopher Glantz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190667351.003.0021
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date: 01 April 2020

Medication use in pregnancy requires a careful balance between the risks of fetal teratogenicity and the maternal benefits of disease treatment. For women with epilepsy, there are many antiepileptic medications available for use in pregnancy. Each varies in their safety profile, risk for fetal anomalies, and effectiveness of seizure control. In most scenarios, the benefits of maternal treatment outweigh the risk of fetal effects, especially in cases of refractory epilepsy or severe disease. Many of the newer anti-epileptic drugs appear to have less teratogenic risk than the older medications. The ideal AED is one that is effective from the woman, is least teratogenic, and used at the lowest possible dose. Overall, a detailed understanding of antiepileptic efficacy, the pharmacologic differences in pregnancy, and the potential adverse fetal effects are required for optimal treatment of pregnant patients with epilepsy.

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