- There are more than 20 epilepsy drugs now available to clinicians.
Some are known to interfere with the contraceptive pill, so it is important to ensure patients are on the right medication if there is a risk of unplanned pregnancy.
– Women with epilepsy who take anti-epileptic drugs are at higher risk than the general population of having a baby with a major malformation: 4-10 per cent, compared to 2-3 per cent, but this varies between drugs.
– In April, doctors in the UK were banned from prescribing the epilepsy drug sodium valproate to women of childbearing age unless they sign a waiver acknowledging the risks. It has been linked to around 20,000 cases of infants being born with disabilities since the 1970s.