I am new to these forums, but I have been doing research on epilepsy and pregnancy. I dont plan on it any time soon, however I was diagnosed wth epilepsy when I was 13 years old, and I really didnt think to ask much about it at the time. Due to lack of doctors, I dont have one that I visit regularly because I am fairly healthy, I just have my blood tested at a clinic, and they call me with results.
Anyway, I was wondering if there is anyone out there who is epileptic and taking sodium valproate, or epival ( I beleive that is the brand name) I think it is also called depekene, or valproic acid. If anyone is taking these medications and has had a sucessful pregnancy while on them, can you please share information? I beleive my doctor said that it would be highly unlikely I would be able to have children, but I didnt think much to ask when I was 13...
Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
i was on lamictal when I was pregnant 3 years ago and everything went great. Years before , my doctor put me on that one knowing that in the future I would want children and it was considered fairly safe. I'm now on a mix of lamictal and keppra and am currently in the process of trying. I don't know much about the meds you're on, but I think that if in the next couple of years you might think about getting pregnant (or even the future possibility) you should find a doctor now who can help you prepare, either by switching your meds if it is felt that is necessary or adjusting the ones you're on. Sometimes it can be a lengthy process getting everything right, and it's awfully difficult when the time comes that you want to try but can't because of medication problems.
Also, it's recommended that every woman of child bearing age regardless of medical history should take folic acid to help reduce the chance of birth defects. Typically it is reocommended that a woman take 0.4mg a day, but I was advised to daily take 2mg and during my first trimester take 4mg. Something to think about.
I strongly suggest you talk to a knowledgeable neurologist before trying to get pregnant. I have been warned not to get pregnant on depakote (another name for the drug you're taking). Depakote can cause a specific type of birth defect, although I don't remember the statistics or specifics. But I know it's really bad (we're talking a child with no limbs or something). And this defect occurs during the very early stages of pregnancy, so if you're taking depakote and find out you're pregnant it may already be too late. Don't get me wrong--it is possible to have a very healthy baby while on depakote, but I wouldn't want to take the risk. I'd rather switch temporarily to another anticonvulsant during at least the first trimester. Just talk to a doctor about it, because I really don't have my facts straight about details (and I won't pretend that I do).
Does anyone else out there have more info about this?
I was just reading you concerns about being pregnant while on depakote and I thought that I would share my experience with you. I am twenty five and was diagnosed with juvienile mylclonic epilepsy when I was 13 years old. I had a little girl about 4 years ago and she was born with spina bifida. She is doing amazing well considering all she has been through. My husband and I have been talking about having another child but, I am very scared that history will repeat itself. My neurologist has recommened that I switch my medication to lamictal. It will be a four month transition to see if it works for me but I am optimistic. I have been seizure free for 12 years so the switch scares me a little but I will keep you informed. Any suggestions or questions let me know!
Dear angelbeans, I was once a user of depakote. I was also diagnosed at the age of 13, and used sodium valproate until the age of 28. This year however, I have started using keppra in its place, and have had good luck thus far. Depakote worked well for 15 years, but when my seizures began to worsen into partials that generalize (petit mal with occassional grand mal), the depakote began to lose its potency and I had to change to keppra. Although I am a male, and of course not pregnant, I wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy, and do not believe that the sodium valproate will cause you any problems with your delivery or the baby's wellness. God bless.
Hello, After a brain surgery 20 years ago, I started having seizures and had to take Dilantin for many years. While taking that medicine, I was warned by my neurologist not to get pregnant because the baby could be born with heart deffects, malformations and many other things. Then 5 years ago, I switched to Keppra and the depression and mood swings drove me crazy and even to a divorce. A month ago, The neurologist switched me to Epival and feel great so far. I'm now doing research on pregnancy but haven't found anything yet. Good Luck!