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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


HASEITEL, Mariel A.  and  HARDAMAN, Cristian G.. Contraception in epileptic women. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2021, vol.81, n.1, pp.62-68. ISSN 0025-7680.

The choice of a contraceptive method considered highly effective in epileptic women of childbearing age is important, since it requires taking into account the eligibility criteria and the possible pharmacological interactions between certain types of anti-seizure drugs (mainly enzyme inducers drugs of the hepatic system P450 such as: carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, oxacarbamazepine, eslicarbazepine, rufinamide, lacosamide and topiramate in high doses) and certain contraceptive methods (oral contraceptives combined or only with progesterone and subdermal progesterone implants), which may accelerate the metabolism of the latter with the consequent risk of failure or vice versa, reduction of plasma concentration (such as lamotrigine) predisposing to seizures, risk of unwanted pregnancies, abortions, teratogenicity due to valproato, maternalfetal complications and difficulty in the management of epileptic activity during pregnancy. In case of prescribing both medications, the combined use with a barrier method should be considered or the use of a depot injection of medroxyprogesterone acetate or intrauterine device as contraception should be considered. Family planning counseling at the first visit has been shown to influence the choice of the contraceptive method and the early initiation of folic acid in the search for fertility. In conclusion, the different therapeutic options should be analyzed together with the epileptic patients in order to achieve and optimize the best goal for each one.

Keywords : Epilepsy; Contraception; Anti-seizure drugs; Pregnancy.

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