If you have epilepsy and you're thinking about becoming pregnant or think you might be pregnant:
- talk to your neurologist, epilepsy nurse or obstetrician about the medicines you’re taking - they will also talk to you about taking folic acid and generally help you to stay well during your pregnancy
- keep taking your epilepsy medicine unless they tell you otherwise - this will give you the best chance of controlling seizures
You may need to change the medicines you take, or the amount you take, so that it’s safe for your baby. Stopping your medication suddenly could be harmful for you both.
Sodium valproate and Valproic acid
Sodium valproate (Epilim®/Epilim chrono®) and Valproic acid (Convulex®) have been linked to a higher chance of some babies having:
- birth defects
- developmental and learning issues
They're prescribed for epilepsy, but you could also be taking them for:
- mental health issues
If you’re taking either medicine, your doctor will talk to you about the possible benefits and harms and together you can decide what to do.
The MHRA has guidance on valproate use by women and girls