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Do women with epilepsy need to take folic acid while pregnant?

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Yes. Startbefore you get pregnant, take prenatal vitamins with 0.4 milligrams of folic acid every day, and keep taking them throughout the pregnancy. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of some birth defects by 60% to 70%. Because there are some extra risks associated with pregnancy when you have epilepsy, it's important to do everything you can to minimize those risks.

From: Women, Pregnancy, and Epilepsy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation, Women and Epilepsy Initiative: "Pregnancy Issues."

Jacqueline French, MD, professor of neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center; co-director, Epilepsy Research and Epilepsy Clinical Trials, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. 

Goetz, C. , Saunders, 2003.  Textbook of Clinical Neurology, 2nd ed.

Morrell M. , Oct. 15, 2002.  American Family Physician

Mark Yerby, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor of Neurology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon; founder, North Pacific Epilepsy Research, Portland.

Pennell, P. , April 2018. JAMA Neurology

Gedzelman, E.  April 2012. .

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 07, 2018

SOURCES:

Epilepsy Foundation, Women and Epilepsy Initiative: "Pregnancy Issues."

Jacqueline French, MD, professor of neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center; co-director, Epilepsy Research and Epilepsy Clinical Trials, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. 

Goetz, C. , Saunders, 2003.  Textbook of Clinical Neurology, 2nd ed.

Morrell M. , Oct. 15, 2002.  American Family Physician

Mark Yerby, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor of Neurology, Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon; founder, North Pacific Epilepsy Research, Portland.

Pennell, P. , April 2018. JAMA Neurology

Gedzelman, E.  April 2012. .

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 07, 2018

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