Epilepsy During Pregnancy
Epilepsy: Abnormal activity in the nerve cells cause seizures (fits). Women who have epilepsy during her pregnancy, she has increased in risk of pre-mature birth and eclampsia.
Risk during pregnancy:
• Chance of frequent seizures (eclampsia)
• Affect thinking power of baby
• Dead born babies
• Mental retardation to offspring
• Birth defect(Congenital anomaly)
• Increase in risk of caesarean
Risk of taking antiepileptic drugs:
Doctors may prescribe some of the antiepileptic drug like phenytoin, phenobarbital. We can avoid of using valproate drugs during pregnancy is best and safe. Sometimes drug stimulates potential tetrogenecity which produces adverse effects like
• Fetal malformations
• Deformities in face, fingers and limbs
• Over bleeding during delivery
• Neural tube defect
• Fully affect fetal development
• Inadequate sleep
• Affect spinal cord
Eclampsia (flash of lightening):
Eclampsia occurs usually in last trimester period (week 32- 40). It can be controlled by using some drugs. During this period women experience anxiety and hypertension. It is usually common in first time pregnancy.
Complications of eclampsia:
• Injuries due to fall
• Tongue bitten
• Left ventricle failure
• High fever
• Fetal death
Treatment for epilepsy:
It can be treated based on factors like-
• Age of the patient
• Severity of fits
• Patients medical history
Before pregnancy, we can take a dose of folic acid 4 – 5 mg per day, vitamin k and vitamin B6 tablets. It decreases the risk from seizures during pregnancy. By using ultrasound scan, we can trace birth defect in early stage.
About 6 out of 100 pregnant women who take antiepileptic drug will have deformities child.