Epilepsy Society is calling for safer epilepsy medications in pregnancy.
Safe Mum, Safe Baby is a campaign to raise awareness of the risks many epilepsy drugs pose to babies during pregnancy.
We are calling on the government to increase funding for research into safer medicines for pregnant women, to provide more detailed and specific data on anti-epilepsy drug use and to ensure both medical professionals and the general public are aware of the potential risks.
(Please note that the photographs used in the above campaign imagery are iStock images)
A new review has shown that some of the most commonly prescribed epilepsy medications can pose an increased risk for babies during pregnancy.
While lamotrigine and levetiracetam have been shown to be the safest medications during pregnancy, data has highlighted an increased risk with many other medications.
It is well known that valproate carries a high risk of harm to any baby exposed to it during pregnancy, but a report from the Commission on Human Medicines has also shown that there are risks linked to other drugs including carbamazepine, topiramate, phenytoin and phenobarbital.
You can read the full review here.
Please note, you should never stop taking or make changes to your medication without consulting your doctor. To talk this information through, please call our helpline team on 01494 601 400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (open Mon - Fri 9-4pm and Weds 9-7.30pm).
"...The only thing that stands between research and knowledge is funding. We hope that the government will respond to our campaign and help to ensure the health and happiness of future generations of children and their families.”
Nicola Swanborough, Head of External Affairs at the Epilepsy Society
Blogs and personal stories
Read people's experiences of epilepsy medications in pregnancy and how this has impacted their family or their decision to have children.
Lyndsey, 26, describes the impact that her epilepsy has had on her and her little boy, Caelan, and explains why she and her partner have opted for genetic screening before having a second baby by IVF.
Chantel Reeves was taking the epilepsy medication, carbamazepine when she discovered she was pregnant. Here she relives her anxieties about how it might harm her baby and why she is backing our Safe Mum, Safe Baby campaign.
Martha Cronin was diagnosed with epilepsy during lockdown. She was prescribed carbamazepine over the phone by her neurologist with no warning about the risk linked to the drug for any baby during pregnancy. Martha describes how overwhelming it was to learn from her GP about the potential harm her medication could pose if she decided to start a family.
Yasmin Golding is 26 and relies on a combination of three epilepsy medications to help control her seizures. But she worries about the health risk that the drugs could pose to any baby during pregnancy, should she decide to start a family.
Laura Moore, 22, has been taking sodium valproate since the age of 15. The medication has enabled her to get on with her life but she knows that if she wants to start a family it will pose a serious risk to any baby during pregnancy. Here she discusses the challenges she faces and questions why she wasn’t given more treatment options when she was first diagnosed.
Lauren Sutton talks about her struggle not to become reliant on a medication that could control her seizures but that would pose real risks for any future unborn children.
We are asking you to write to your local MP, calling for their support for safer medicines for pregnant women with epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Society has welcomed the publication of data from a new valproate registry but called for it to be expanded to include all anti-epilepsy drugs.
Following publication of a review highlighting the risks linked to some epilepsy medications during pregnancy, our Medical Director, Professor Ley Sander, has written a letter to support women and girls requesting a review of their medication and an urgent referral to a neurologist if they are planning to become pregnant.
Epilepsy Society is launching a new campaign - ‘Safe Mum, Safe Baby’ - calling for safer epilepsy medications in pregnancy.
A new review has been published looking at risks associated with the most commonly prescribed anti-epileptic medications during pregnancy.