Scientists Pinpoint Why Epilepsy Seizures Rise in Pregnancy

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TUESDAY, Feb. 15, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

Many ladies with epilepsy have breakthrough seizures after they get pregnant, and researchers say they’ve found out why.

Their new study exhibits that pregnancy can set off steep drops in blood ranges of sure antiepileptic drugs quickly after conception.

“In relation to epilepsy, sustaining a fine-tuned medicine routine is crucial. Some individuals mistakenly consider that modifications within the drugs‘ blood focus will not happen till after 20 weeks of pregnancy, however our research exhibits how essential it’s to start out monitoring and adjusting sufferers’ medicine dosages early on,” stated lead research creator Dr. Web page Pennell, chair of neurology on the College of Pittsburgh.

“Almost half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned, so you will need to be certain that docs have a transparent image of every affected person’s baseline drug stage even when they don’t seem to be trying to conceive,” Pennell stated in a college information launch.

For the research, Pennell and her colleagues analyzed blood concentrations of 10 generally used antiseizure medication in ladies with epilepsy at totally different stages of pregnancy and after childbirth.

There have been dramatic declines within the ranges of seven medication, starting from about 30% for lacosamide (Vimpat) to over 56% for lamotrigine (Lamictal), the investigators discovered.

The researchers additionally discovered that the declines in blood ranges of the medication occurred simply days after conception.

“Figuring out which antiseizure medicines could have modifications in concentrations and at what level in pregnancy these modifications happen is essential for figuring out which sufferers could have to be monitored extra intently throughout pregnancy and after supply,” stated research co-author Angela Birnbaum, a professor of experimental and scientific pharmacology on the College of Minnesota.

The findings spotlight the necessity to enhance doses of sure antiseizure medication and intently monitor their ranges in epilepsy sufferers after they’re pregnant, the research authors concluded.

The findings had been revealed on-line Feb. 14 in JAMA Neurology.

Extra info

There’s extra on epilepsy and being pregnant on the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCE: College of Pittsburgh, information launch, Feb. 14, 2022

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What Is Epilepsy? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
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