The outcomes of pregnancy in women with untreated epilepsy

F. J.E. Vajda, T. J. O'Brien, J. Graham, C. M. Lander, M. J. Eadie

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the outcomes in regards to seizure control and foetal malformation in pregnant women with epilepsy not treated with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Method: Analysis of data from the Australian Register of AEDs in Pregnancy on 148 women with epilepsy who were not receiving AEDs before and during at least the first trimester of pregnancy. Results: Seizure control was less likely to be maintained in AED-untreated pregnancies. Whether AED therapy had been ceased in preparation for pregnancy, or had not been employed for long periods before pregnancy, made no statistically significant difference to seizure control outcomes, but those who ceased therapy in preparation for pregnancy were more likely to again be taking AED therapy by term. Foetal malformation rates were reasonably similar in untreated pregnancies, and in treated pregnancies if pregnancies exposed to known AED teratogens (valproate and probably topiramate) were excluded from consideration. Conclusion: Leaving epilepsy untreated during pregnancy appears disadvantageous from the standpoint of seizure control: it also does not reduce the hazard of foetal malformation unless it avoids valproate or topiramate intake during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Epilepsy
  • Foetal malformations
  • Pregnancy
  • Seizures

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