What are the medication options for the treatment of epilepsy in women taking oral contraceptives?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Anticonvulsants that induce hepatic enzymes, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, felbamate, lamotrigine, topiramate, and oxcarbazepine, decrease the efficacy of oral contraceptive pills. Some anticonvulsants cause this drug interaction in a dose-dependent manner, with a negligible effect at low doses. Some obstetricians use a high-dose estrogen-progesterone contraceptive to counteract this effect. An alternative and possibly preferable approach is to use a second method of contraception.

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