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Will anti-epileptic drugs taken by my husband affect my pregnancy?

Q: I am 28 years old. My husband is 32 years old. Last year he had a seizure for which the doctor advised him to take Eptoin-3 tablets in a day and Levipil-2. Will the above mentioned medicines have any side effects during my pregnancy? My husband is completely fine now and hasn't had any seizures during the last one year. Please advise.

A:The consumption of phenytoin sodium (sold under various brands such as Epsolin, Eptoin etc) and levetiracetam (Levipil) by your husband will not have any adverse effects on your baby. If your husband got the seizure for the first time last year, administration of phenytoin sodium (Epsolin or Eptoin) alone should be adequate. A second medicine is indicated only if the response to first line drug is not adequate. Even in the case of second medicine, it has to be a conventional drug such as carbamazepine. Levipil is to be prescribed only in refractory cases as an add-on therapy that too only in a certain specific type of epilepsy called partial seizures with or without secondary generalization. It has some serious long term effects such as ataxia, abnormal gait, loss of memory, depression, hostility, psychoses, tremor, double vision, vertigo etc. Hence this drug is not to be given routinely to newly diagnosed cases of epilepsy but only to carefully selected patients who need it i.e. if they do not respond to at least two conventional medicines taken together.

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