Seizure Meds

Updated on August 05, 2011
J.J. asks from Bismarck, ND
8 answers

I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 4. I went off my meds 4 years ago and I believe that on Sunday night I had a seizure in my sleep-EEG was inconclusive but the signs point towards a seizure and my neurologist agrees with me.

I'm going back on my meds and am starting on Depaoke. I've taken it before and it works without making me crazy. However, my husband and I want another child so I need anti-seizure meds that are safe during pregnancy.(I'm not pregnant but we're talking about talking about it) Has anyone has any experience with seizure meds and pregnancy? What ones did you take and what were the side effects?

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Topeka on

I have no first hand information for you but you need to talk to your pharmacist...he/she is going to be able to access some excellent information for you. I would also talk to your OB/GYN...give them time to do some research and they are going to be able to give you some great guidance!!
I work in a pharmacy and the pharmacists are so very knowledgable and are a really perfect source of information for something like this.

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi J.,

Depakote is a category D drug and that states there is a risk to an unborn child. Dangers increase when it is used in combination with other drugs. I don't have experience with seizure meds during pregnancy but researched them extensively when my daughter was having seizures. There are quite a few attorneys that are filing class action lawsuits for birth defects supposedly caused by Depakote. (Taking Depakote (valproate) during pregnancy lowers the baby's IQ and lead to deformities in up to one in ten cases. NEJM/New England Journal of Medicine, June 9, 2010.)

I was on meds when I got pregnant and my doctor told me they were fine to take, After I researched I found out they were not. I went cold turkey and suffered through my long term illness until after the baby was born. I know seizures are terribly dangerous and it's not simply a matter of "suffering through" like me. Sorry I can't advise you on specifics but also look into natural remedies and exactly what provokes your seizures. I'm not advising against meds (which I do in a lot of cases) but advising that you look into all options remembering that natural remedies can have effects on the unborn as well.

God bless!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I wish I had an answer but am looking too. I'm 31 and just diagnosed 7 months ago with epilepsy I guess-I don't have any brain tumors or anything. I started keppra xr after my third seizure. I'm taking 1000mg per day and want to be pregnant sooner than later. My first baby is two. I'm just apprehensive about taking this drug while pregnant. There has to be more moms in this situation.



answers from Tampa on

I too have epilepsy. When I wanted to get pregnant with my 1st child (now 3 1/2yr) my neurologist switched me from Depakote (which I had been on for years) to Keppra. He said that there were studies showing that older children exposed to Depakote in-utero were showing cognitive issues. When I got pregnant with my 2nd (now almost 4wks old) I was on Keppra still and a low dose of Klonopin (due to seizure activity - twitching). My dose of Keppra was increased a few times during that pregnancy and I did have a seizure when I was about 27wks pregnant, but so far he seems healthy. I've since lowered my keppra only by a little bit. Talk to your neuro about it. There's another "safe" drug out there, but I forget what it is. BTW - I breastfed my oldest for a year and am so far exclusively breastfeeding this one, so don't let anyone tell you you cant if you choose to do that. Feel free to PM me and good luck with everything!

Also, I have done the Anti-epileptic pregnancy registry and Keppra pregnancy registry with both. It's the only way they really keep track of the meds and the safety of them. Everything eventrually causes issues it seems - I'm sure years down the road they'll find some issue with Keppra, but in the meantime I can only hope for the best :) And so far both my boys seem healthy!



answers from Louisville on

My daughter is epileptic and has had 2 children - one is 6 and lives w/me at this time and the other is 4 now and was immediately adopted out. I KNOW she did not always do her meds as she should, but both girls have seemed fine thus far. She had gotten too careless in taking meds, so they didn't use Depakote then, they went with Zonegran. She's also been on Keppra.

Talk w/your doc and get your med levels right beforehand - this is something daughter obviously did NOT do beforehand (or during pregnancy - tho some was probably related to DV). With a proactive approach, you and hubby (and baby when you decide) should not have a problem!



answers from Omaha on

I'm not epilectic. I'm bi-polar 1. Thing is the treat us with the same medicines. I right now am on Depakote, which I hate, and Lamictal. When I was pregnant with little man they only had me on lamictal because it's side effects occur mainly in the first trimester and they are mainly cleft palate and other things more along deformity lines. I took it for the entire 3rd trimester with both OB and Psych's blessing. My Primary was even ok with it. Although I went in a study because there is no nearly enough information on it with pregnant women and as you'd guess it isn't ethical to test it on pregnant women so it was like hey your taking it what has happened!

I also could take klonipin, we take it for anxiety and to keep even but I only took one of those the entire time because they told me that one can be bad. So right off the bat they removed the one that helps me the most.

Well my son came out with FIVE heart defects. 5! 2 holes, a leaking valve, an extra artery feeding the lung side and one they discovered in surgery. He had to have open heart surgery at 8 months of age.

So I know epilepsy is different but taking me off my meds can mean psychosis. Think Charlie Sheen right now. So it is essential I get treatment. Not to mention 1 in 4 commit suicide.

Anyways, if I was to get pregnant again I'd not take it. They say it was a coincidence but I can't believe that 5 heart defects. I can't believe it had nothing to do with the med. So choose wisely... especially with the new ones. I went down on the study with a baby born with heart problems.


answers from Rochester on

I know you will talk to your doctor about this, but just know that depakote is NOT safe during pregnancy. I believe it is similar to lithium and is suspected to cause neural tube defects in babies, which can be devastating.

There may be something that's pregnancy safe; please just ask your doctor! :)

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