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Change of seizure frequency in pregnant epileptic women.
  1. D Schmidt,
  2. R Canger,
  3. G Avanzini,
  4. D Battino,
  5. C Cusi,
  6. G Beck-Mannagetta,
  7. S Koch,
  8. D Rating,
  9. D Janz


    The effect of pregnancy on seizure frequency was monitored prospectively in 136 pregnancies of 122 epileptic women. Pregnancy did not influence the seizure frequency in 68 pregnancies (50%). In 50 pregnancies (37%) the number of seizures increased during pregnancy or puerperium. The seizure frequency decreased in 18 pregnancies (13%). In 34 out of 50 pregnancies (68%) the increase was associated with non-compliance with the drug regimen or sleep deprivation. In seven out of 18 pregnancies (39%) improvement was related to correction of non-compliance or sleep deprivation during the pregestational nine months. Insufficiently low plasma concentrations of antiepileptic drugs were found in 47% of the women with uncontrolled epilepsy during pregnancy. The course of epilepsy during pregnancy is primarily influenced by non-compliance, sleep deprivation during pregnancy, and inadequate therapy before and during pregnancy. With good medical attention pregnancy itself seems to have only a minimal influence on the course of epilepsy.

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