8. Seizure Control During Pregnancy

  1. Cynthia L. Harden MD Professor of Neurology2,
  2. Sanjeev V. Thomas MD, DM Professor of Neurology3 and
  3. Torbjörn Tomson MD, PhD Professor of Neurology and Epileptology4
  1. Sabers Anne

Published Online: 24 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118531037.ch8

Epilepsy in Women

Epilepsy in Women

How to Cite

Anne, S. (2013) Seizure Control During Pregnancy, in Epilepsy in Women (eds C. L. Harden, S. V. Thomas and T. Tomson), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118531037.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Chief, Division of Epilepsy and Electroencephalography, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Cushing Neuroscience Institutes, Brain and Spine Specialists, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Great Neck, New York, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala State, India

  3. 4

    Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Author Information

  1. Epilepsy Clinic, Department of Neurology, University State Hospital – Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470672679

Online ISBN: 9781118531037



  • epilepsy;
  • pregnancy;
  • seizure control;
  • seizure deterioration;
  • drug monitoring


Even though most women with epilepsy can expect their seizure control to be unaffected by pregnancy, approximately one-quarter of pregnant women will experience increased seizure frequency during pregnancy. Loss of seizure control in pregnancy is mainly caused by a drop in plasma levels of antiepileptic drugs due to increased drug metabolism and poor drug compliance. Also psychological factors may be involved. Systematic antiepileptic drug monitoring and dose adjustments associated with systematic pre-conception counseling and patient education may prevent seizure deterioration in pregnancy at least for some women with epilepsy.