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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Answer

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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