Acta Neurologica Belgica

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 459–464 | Cite as

The course of epilepsy and seizure control in pregnant women

  • Melikova ShahlaEmail author
  • Bagirova Hijran
  • Magalov Sharif
Original Article


To investigate the course of epilepsy and seizure control during pregnancy. 105 pregnant women with epilepsy were studied prospectively during the period from 2013 to 2017. The average age at the onset of epilepsy was 17.4 ± 0.5 years. Seizures during pregnancy were observed in 76 (72.4 ± 4.4%) women. Eleven (10.5 ± 3.0%) women had their first seizure during current pregnancy. Among those 94 women who were diagnosed with epilepsy before pregnancy, 29 (30.9 ± 4.8%) remained seizure free; seizure frequency increased in 27 (28.7 ± 4.7%), decreased in 24 (25.5 ± 4.5%) women, in 14 (14.9 ± 3.7%) remained unchanged. Among 15 women who were seizure free for the 1 year prior to pregnancy 11 (73.3 ± 11.4%) women remained seizure free during pregnancy. The worsening in seizure control during pregnancy occurred in 22 (35.5 ± 6.1%) of 62 women with focal epilepsy and 5 (15.6 ± 6.4%) of 32 with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.0–8.81). Non-compliance with the antiepileptic drug therapy was observed in 20 (19.0 ± 3.8%) pregnant women, seizure frequency increased in 18 (90.0 ± 6.7%) of them compared with 5 (9.8 ± 4.2%) of 51 of those who followed correct antiepileptic drug regimen (p < 0.001). The risk of seizures during pregnancy was lower in women who were seizure-free for the 1 year prior to pregnancy; focal epilepsy was associated with an increased risk of seizure relapse during pregnancy; non-compliance with the antiepileptic drug therapy and inappropriate treatment may lead to worsening of seizure control and to the status epilepticus during pregnancy.


Antiepileptic drugs Epilepsy Pregnancy Seizures 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to disclose. We confirm that we have read the Journal’s position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

All participants provided informed consent prior to their participation.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melikova Shahla
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bagirova Hijran
    • 2
  • Magalov Sharif
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyAzerbaijan Medical UniversityBakuAzerbaijan
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology IIAzerbaijan Medical UniversityBakuAzerbaijan

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