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SummerGirl

Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hey There,

I'm new to this site...so HELLO....Hope everyone is doing well! I just recently..actually 2 days ago found out i was pregnant..Yay! I'm currently taking lamictal for my seizures. I love it and have found that it has such a low risk of side effects when it comes to how you feel! It's a fairly new medication so if anyone is taking Lamictal I'd love to share stories and chat...also If anyone has advice on pregnancy while taking seizure meds. I would love to hear from you!

Comments

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Congrats to you Summer!!! Me and my husband are trying to get pregnant and I am on Lamictal and would love to know how things go with you. I am also taking Topamax and would like to know if anyone has had any expirence with taking this medicine while pregnant.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

hi! congrats on your pregnancy! I got pregnant unexpectedly, and now I'm only 2 weeks away from having him. I've been told that everyone is different with pregnancy & epilepsy. I was on lamictal and had finally started driving again...unfortunately, I've had 7 seizures while being pregnant. Luckily, the baby has been fine, and not everyone's seizures increase when they're pregnant. Lamictal is a safe bet to take while you're pregnant (as safe as AED's can be), and as long as you get regular ultrasounds to check on the baby's development it should be fine. Just remember, your hormones are changing, whether youre moody or craving things or not, the changes are happening. Hormones in brain...epilepsy in brain...it makes sense that your body might start reacting differently. My dose changed, I was put on brand name instead of generic, then Keppra was added, and now I'm maximum dosed out... Yet...my last seizure was 10 days ago. Hopefully it goes better for you. That's just my experience with it. GOOD LUCK =)

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Im on lamotrogine for the past 3months, havent had a seizure yet and for the past 3months I've been trying to fall pregnant, but with no luck.. My question is..could it be the medication that affects your fertility, because Ive read of loads of women with epilepsy to fall pregnant,so it confuses me a bit..

I wouldn't worry at all

I wouldn't worry at all about taking Lamictal while pregnant and nursing. I took 400 mg a day during my pregnancy and now I'm taking 300 mg a day. My baby is 3 months old now and VERY healthy. Our pediatrician says he hasn't any unhealthy issues at all; he is physically strong, plus alert, curious, obviously mentally stimulated. Just take/or keep taking your prenatal vitamins. Don't worry! 

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

My husband and i are thinking about starting a family in about a year but I've been having difficulty with my medication lately. I have tonic clonic seizures. I still have seizures about twice a year so I was trying to find a different med that would give me little more leniency for those rare occasion when I slip up and forget or don't take it on time. I switched from 300mg in the morning and 300mg of Carbamazapine in the evening to the same dosage of Zonegran back in january which has now been reduced to 200mg in the morning due to severe feelings of anxiety. I also seem have tonic nocturnal seizures two or three times a month which never happened before.

Since I expressed interest in starting a family in the future, my doctor suggested I try Lamictal since it has a good reputation with pregnancies. However, they are kind of freaking me out with the rash thing and the other potential side effects. Obviously I take a relatively high dose of these meds to the point where side affects are a major major concern for me. The anxiety from the Zonegran has been nearly debilitating. Not to mention the fact that that higher dose can't great for an unborn child either. These thoughts are enough to send me into a panic attack but that's probably just the meds talking.

Is there anyone out there on about the same dosage of this med who can give me some indication of what their personal experience has been as well as that of the process of going through pregnancy on that level of med?

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hey, My Name is Mandy, Goodluck with getting pregnant, i hope it happens for you soon, i heard that lamictal is better when you are pregnant, I just found out this week im 6 weeks pregnant.

=)

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hey, Thank's. O wow i was told that unborn babys wouldnt survive if the mother had a seizure, I was taking Epilum when i feel pregnant with my first and i was aware of the side affects and my silly doctor didnt send me to my specialist to be monitored, he was born with a perferated anus, this time i told the doctor she needs to send me to my specialst so that cant happen again, i'm taking different medication apparently Tegrtol, Epilum and another on that starts with a D i can't remember of hand are the higher risk pills for melformations.

O wow i hope everything goes well with the birth and goodluck!

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

RebeccaAC I'm trying to get pregnant myself and taking Lamictal.

I been looking for info about side effects it may have while pregnant Lamictal is the most safe medacation for epilepsy while pregnant. I was given info from epilepsy foundation New Zealand and it said only 4 to 6% risks but 90% chance of normal healthy baby. I hope baby making goes well for you.

Lamictal is a brand name for

Lamictal is a brand name for Lamotrigine I'm not a woman therefore not pregnant but I read this on epilepsy.com this is important please read...

Recently, the North American AED Pregnancy Registry, located at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, found that infants who are exposed to lamotrigine as monotherapy during pregnancy (lamotrigine was used as the only AED by the mother) have a much higher risk of having an oral cleft problem, than infants born to women in a comparison group and who were not exposed to lamotrigine during pregnancy. Oral cleft problems are birth defects that may involve the lip (cleft lip), the palate (cleft palate), or both. During pregnancy, the normal openings between the upper lip and the nose (seen with cleft lip) or between the roof or back of the mouth and the nose (seen in cleft palate) may not close properly. These problems can often be seen with ultrasound testing and can usually be corrected after birth with surgery.

In this study, of 564 women who received lamotrigine alone, 5 instances of isolated cleft lip or palate (not seen as part of any specific syndrome) were seen in the babies. This data gives a prevalence rate of 8.9 per 1000, which means that oral cleft problems may occur in 8.9 of 1000 women treated with lamotrigine monotherapy. This number is 24 times higher than the risk of oral cleft problems seen in babies from the comparison group used in the study.

This information should be interpreted with caution and further analysis is underway. Women taking lamotrigine should talk to their doctors if they become pregnant or are considering pregnancy, and discuss the risks and benefits of taking lamotrigine during pregnancy. The manufacturer of Lamictal, the brand name version of lamotrigine, has stated that "Lamictal should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus".

Women who are interested in participating in pregnancy registries , may enroll themselves in the North American AED Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334.

Taking medications during pregnancy is often a concern for women who are pregnant. Most medications carry some risk, but the extent of risk is often unknown. The risks of antiepileptic drugs to babies born to women taking AEDs during pregnancy is a source of ongoing research around the world.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assigns each medication to a Pregnancy Category according to whether it has been proven to be harmful in pregnancy. Lamictal is listed in Pregnancy Category C. This indicates that caution is advised, but the benefits of the medicine may outweigh the potential risks. Studies in animals have shown some harm to the baby, but there haven't been any good studies of results in women. There is no indication yet that Lamictal causes serious birth defects.

The risk of birth defects is higher for women who take more than one seizure medicine and for women with a family history of birth defects.

All women who are capable of becoming pregnant should take at least 0.4 mg (400 mcg) of the vitamin called folic acid every day because it helps to prevent one type of birth defect. (The most well-known of these is spina bifida, in which the spinal cord is not completely enclosed.) Women at high risk, such as those with a history of this kind of defect in a previous pregnancy, should take 4000 mcg (4 mg) daily, beginning before they become pregnant.

About 20% to 35% of women have seizures more often during pregnancy because of changes in hormones or changes in how their seizure medicine is handled by the body. This appears to be particularly true for Lamictal. It is helpful for the doctor to check the levels of medicine in the blood regularly during pregnancy so that the dosage can be adjusted if necessary.

Talk to the doctor if about your options if you're interested in breast-feeding the baby. The baby will get some Lamictal through the milk, and its possible effects are unknown. For this reason, breast-feeding while taking Lamictal is not recommended.

I would ask your doctor what to do. I'm currently on three seizure medications...they can taper you off and put you on something else if this worries you.

...and in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love...you make. Lennon&McCartney.

Re: Lamictal is a brand name for

my epilepsy doctor said the same thing about 7 yrs ago, took me of tegretol to put me on lamital for when i wanted to become pregnant.

though i would be thinking about whether you will breast feed or not on lamictal.

Re: Re: Lamictal is a brand name for

My doctor took me off tegratol about years ago now and put me on Lamictal. Its great and I didnt put any weight on with it either.

Sam
xx

Re: Lamictal is a brand name for

I am currently taking Lamictal and would love to have another child but that will likely not happen. I would like to share that I took Tegretol, quite a large dose of it actually, nearly 1000 mg a day while pregnant with both of my children who are 6 and 7 now. I had no idea it could lethal for them. I did no research. I was never told that there could be birth defects if I got pregnant. My doctor was found to be a quack. Well, I had two perfectly healthy children. I would have to say that yeah meds have a lot to do with things but my faith had more to do with the outcome of my children's health. Knowing what I know now, I would definitley want to be on the safest medicine with the least known side effects and the smallest chance for birth defects. God Bless, I hope all turns out well.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi SummerGirl, I'm fairly new to this site myself but I've found it very helpful relating to people who may be going through the same things as you. I am curently on Lamictal but when I was pregnant with both of my children I was on Dilantin. I was just going to my family doctor at the time and only having peti mal seizures. My doctor took me completely off my medicine when I was pregnant because he said that having a seizure would be less harmful that staying on the medicine. The whole time I was pregnant I never had a one seizure. Hormones worked in favor for me then. But like I said, my seizures at the time were more mild than they are now. If I were to get pregnant now I would defenetly stay on the medicine. I get Grand Mal seizures now and I wouldn't want to take the chance of falling and hurting myself or the baby. I've read a lot of stories from different women on this site and I haven't read one that has had any problems with their children. It may help to read some of other peoples stories to help put your mind a little at ease. Keep me updated. I'd like to know how you're making out with your pregnancy. Being pregnant is a great feeling!
Napster

Re: Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hello Everyone! THis is sort of like a what if I'm pregnant, what do I do question? I am currently taking 150mg once a day of lamictal- I'm not epileptic, but I am bipolar 2. I am on birth control, but I missed a pill and now I'm a bit worried. Since I'm on birth control, I do not take any folic acids. So, here's the question, if I am pregnant, is it too late to start taking the folic acid to prevent any birth defects? Fortunately, i do not have to continue taking the meds if I'm pregnant, so with that said, do i even need to take the folic acid. One more question, if i am pregnant, I will have only been on the medication for about a week, will that lesson the chances of any birth defects? If anyone can help me with this, i would so APPRECIATE it- My doctor is a bit aloof, so i would prefer to hear from all of before I talk to my doctor, which will be in the next couple of days.
Thank you in advance

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

I myself have been wanting to try to get pregnant here soon. But am so concerned with my seizures and the drugs I take, I keep putting it off. My Neurologist says Dilantin is the way to go. I had a friend tell me her doctor had her on Lamictal. Either way you risk Birth defects. My hopes of starting to try have been put on hold currently as I am now on 2 epileptic drugs, and my Doctor reminds me that currently its just not an option. Maybe as soon as im a little better controlled he will put me on dilantin so I can start trying.
Did any of you think about taking part in the study they have? The one for women who take seizure meds while pregnant? My husband and I have talked about if we want too or not when the time comes.
Also going back to the original comment. My doctors actually told me its more dangerous to have seizures while pregnant then it is to be on the med. I am aways hearing about how the benefits of the drug out weighs the risk to the fetus. So I am surprised you were told differently. Maybe it was because you had not yet had the Grand mals?
I was thinking about going and seeing a epileptologist. Sadly there aren't any in my state. But I thought they might be more informed about the pregnacy thing.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hello! I was on lamictal while I was pragnent. My doctors did the high resolution ultra sounds all along and my son came out healthy as could be. I did not nurse him though. My doctor said that it would probably be ok to nurse him but I did not want to. I hope everything is wonderful for you and good luck. Katie

Re: Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi! :)

I am also new to this site! :)

I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Right Frontal Lobe Epilepsy approximately two months ago. I am on Lamictin (the South African brand name for Lamictal) and although I am only sixteen, my neurologist wanted to put me on medication that would be safe when I was older and possibly became pregnant; that way, I wouldn't have to change my medicine. He told me that the only risk with Lamictin and pregnancy was that my child could possibly be born with a cleff palate, which is easily correctable with surgery.

I don't think that there is too much to worry about concerning Lamictin and pregnancy. It is FAR safer than many of the other Anti-Epileptic Drugs are with regard to pregnancy.

My Neurologist graduated cum laude in his M.Med. (Neurol.) and he is absolutely fantastic and very supportive. We made the decision together with my mother regarding the medication which I would be on and he went through all of the side-effects with us before we chose an A.E.D. I really trust him and he SPECIFICALLY chose an A.E.D. which would be safe with pregnancy.

I hope that this helps and good luck! :)

Re: Re: Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi i am also new to the site and saw your message about Lamictal. I have been taking it for 3 years now and absolutely love it. I was diagnosed with sleep seizures in 2002 and was prescribed tegretol by my first neurologist. After visiting my new neurologist he switched me to Lamictal. He told me that being of child bearing age it was not safe to be on tegretol. With that said i am glad you are taking Lamictal. I have been seizure free for 4 years now thanks to Lamictal. I experienced side effects in the beginning but they went away. Lamictal is a great drug and i would recommend it to anyone. I think you'll be just fine.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Welcome aboard and congratulations on the pregnancy! Exciting news! We're putting more info up for women all the time - visit these links to check out some of it.
www.epilepsy.com/articles/ar_116009025
www.epilepsy.com/info/women_pregnancy.html

There is more detailed information on care of women with epilepsy on the professional site of Epilepsy.com. Also look at the women's info on the Epilepsy Foundation website.

Now, don't be afraid when you read some of the newer info on lamotrigine. The North American Pregnancy Registry found a higher than expected rate of oral cleft birth defects - problems with cleft lip or cleft palate - in women taking lamictal alone as compared to a control group of women without epilepsy and not on lamictal. I just heard a talk from other pregnancy registries around the world and these registries have not found this data. Thus, we don't know if this finding is going to be true for everyone.

For breastfeeding, lamictal does pass through the breastmilk, just like most other drugs do. However, the baby will be exposed to less drug than he or she was exposed to during pregnancy. Experts in the field feel that women with epilepsy can breastfeed while taking the drug.

Hope this info helps. Browse around and join in!

Epi_help

Epilepsy.com Resource Specialist

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

My husband and I also want to become pregnant and are afraid of the affects of Lamictal. I suffer from Simple Partial Seizures of the Right Temporal Lobe. I am currently on Trileptal, but my doctor has advised that I change to Lamictal or go to a seizure center to determine if I can be off my drugs completely. As I recently ran out of meds and had bad episodes during the next day after not having my meds, I don't feel that I can go off my meds. However, I am afraid of taking Lamictal while pregnant. I also know from research that it is currently the safest drug out there and only has a 1% chance of defects. But from my research I have found that the defect cannot be easily corrected. Your newborn would have to have surgery almost right away and as with most epileptic mothers, the newborns are usually premature. I would love to hear from more mothers who have taken Lamictal through their pregnancy and get confirmation that their babies were o.k. without deformities. I think it would be the only proof that would make me feel more comfortable about taking the drug during pregnancy (also I only need 200 mgs a day to control my seizures).

Re: Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi , Congrats on the little one! I had a baby while on Dilantin ( unplanned), he's one next weekend & perfectly healthy. I am in the process of switching to lamictal in preparation of our second pregnancy.

I just wanted to comment on a statement ranaescott made : Your newborn would have to have surgery almost right away and as with most epileptic mothers, the newborns are usually premature.

I did loads of research while I was pregnant, and never once from a geneticist, GP, OBGYN, or Neurologist did I ever hear of the tendency for epileptic women to have premature babies. Our little man was born on his due date.

I'm new here, sorry to preach, i just think it's important not to make scary claims as if they are truths. Perhaps some research claims babies of epileptic moms are born prematurely, but it is not widely accepted.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

When I first had seizers 6 yrs. ago I was on Lamactal and my doc said it was the safiest drug out there today but, I had to switch to a stronger drug because it didn't work for me. But, when I got pregnant I was on Depakote which is one of the strongest seizer drugs out there and they put me on 5 folic acid pills a day and it is great for preventing any defects to the baby so, you and your baby should be perectly fine on Lamactal. Now, I know on Depakote that you can not breastfeed a baby but, I would be finding out from your OB and your nero doc if u can breastfeed w/ Lamactial.
But, to finish my story I was on 250 mg of Depakote(strong seizer drug) during my pregnancy and 5 folic acid plus Prenatal vitamins and my son was perfectly healthy except 1 small defect that has been taken care of and now he is a normal little boy. So, good luck and Congrats.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hello everybody,

I'm also new to this site. I want to share my story with you all, and especially with SummerGirl. Since I had my first small seizures, and during many years, I was on Epanutin (which is the UK brand of Dilantin). Few months ago, and when I had the intention to become pregnant, I went to a very famous neurologist on town to ask him about his recommendation for the best seizures' medication having the minimal side effects on the feotus, and he recommended LAMICTAL. I switched progressively from Epanutin (Dilantin) to Lamictal, and now I'm taking 2x100mg per day. So as ILoveHistory said, Lamictal was recommended as the best medication for pregnancy period.

I am now 8 weeks pregnant,and I'm so happy for it. My OB doctor assurd me by telling that he faced lot of pregnancy cases with epilepsy, and all of them had normal babies. He only advised me to take folic acid to help prevent birth defects.

Everything went ok for me until yesterday, when I was reading some articles about pregnancy & lamictal, and I found the EMERGENCY ALERTS from FDA regarding the Lamictal. I was really chocked, since it contradicts the info I have regarding Lamictal. Sincerely, I got little confused. But on the other hand, certain articles are ensuring women since it was the only study that showes such results.

For Summergirl, to make you feel more secure, I recommend you to read the following story, which I found very motivating:
http://www.epilepsy.com/stories/ps_1131418303.html
I think you're 11-12 weeks pregnant, no? As I'm 8 weeks, It will be very interesting if you can send me your e-mail address, so we can keep in contact and share our pregnancy stories with each other.

Finally, I ask all the women who faced the same situation by taking Lamictal during their pregnancy periods, and had their baby born, please join the discussion and describe your experiences in few words, to reassure us, or to provide some alerts and advices.

Thanks,
Nadine

Re: Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

hi there i was wondering the same question because im on lamtical and my husband and i are tryin to get pregnant

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

I actually JUST talked to my neurologist about this last week! I'm a few years away from having kids because I'd prefer to find something that works before I do.

He said the biggest problem is not enough woman report their pregnancies and birth to the people who do these studies so its such a small percentage. I really think we all owe it to the women who will come after us to get true number studies.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi everyone. It makes me feel so much better to know I'm not the only one out there who is going through this. I am also going thru changing my meds, (I'm already off Depakote, and am about to start weaning off Dilantin, and just started taking Lamictal). I have both grand mal and petit mal seizures. My nuerologist thinks monotherapy is a better idea for pregnancy. I'm hoping to get pregnant next year. So far from what I've researched, Lamictal is a better drug for you. I can't express this one thing enough though. Take your folic acid. My nuerologist already gave me a prescription for this. It help in preventing birth defects. Best of luck to all of you!

Yeahh Lamictal is great, I

Yeahh Lamictal is great, I agree. Its so much better than that Dilantin crap...which makes me really drowsy and brain dead.
I was never pregnant...sorry...so cant share an experience there... but I noticed that with Lamictal I feel more alert... especially once you get to the theraputic level.
Just like many people have said here, make sure to take your folic acid too. Im also taking folic acid.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Newly pregnant and takin

Hi SummerGirl,
Congratulations! Smile, you are truly part of a miracle! I am new to this site. Is is so nice to read stories from other women experiencing the same challenges.
I was on depakote and lamictol when I discovered I was pregnant, about 4 wks. I knew depakote was not a safe medication to be on while pregnant. My neurologist put me on generic zarontin (ethosuximide) in place of depakote. So, I was on lamictol and ethosuximide while pregnant. I went in for monthly high resolution ultrasounds, so my perinatologist could monitor the baby's growth and watch for any possible birth defects. Everything went well throughout the entire pregnancy- no seizures. We welcomed a healthy baby girl Oct. 30th. I decided to try nursing, because the benefits outweighed any potential side effects from the minute amount of medication my daughter would get through the breast milk. Everything is going very well, and she is still very healthy.
I am confident that your baby will be just fine. As long as your seizures are under control, and you embrace each moment of your pregnancy, staying healthy and happy, your baby should be healthy.

Keep me posted. Again, congratulations on your pregnancy!

Melinda

Melinda

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Congratulations. I take Lamictal too.

Sam
xx

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Hi,wud you please share your story with me? what are sleep seizures?
i had one seizure in 1999 and then i was completely seizure free for almost like 3 years so my doctor put me off med. and then again after 7 years i had one last year out of the blue..while i was off medicine,,i had a perfectly healthy and normal baby.
my daughter is 2-1/2 years now,we wanna have another child but i am concerned about lamictal side effects for fetus.and i am also concerned about my seizure condition if i go completely off medication during pregnancy and have one mean while.does it effect the baby inside if you have seizure?

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I am seven months pregnant with what several ultrasounds and some very wonderful doctors have told me is a very healthy baby girl. The last ultrasound checked for any problems that could have risen with her palet. Everything is fine. I have been taking 2x100 mg of lamictal since I was about 6 weeks along for grand mal seizures that didn't start until I became pregnant. I also took folic acid during my first trimester to help prevent any possible birth defects. Although I am very aware that anything could come up between now and the delivery, so far all is well. Good luck with your pregnancy, and feel free to contact me with any more concerns. I will let you know when my little bundle of joy arrives (she is due January 26th) and the status of her health.

Re: Newly pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hey I'm new to this site.

My name is Mandy, I'm currently taking lamicatal, I would say it is the safest medication to take while yout pregnant, i fell pregnant with my son who is now 3, and i was taking Epilum, which i didnt know much, i did research but been young i didnt really think anything bad could happen to my son, he was born with a perferated anus ( no bum hole) after 2 years i saw my specialist who changed me to Lamictal and told me its safest for woman who are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant, i'm now currently six weeks pregnant . I currentl take 75mlg twice daily with folic acid which i have been taking since my specialist put me on it, i have noticed its by far the best anti-epileptic pill i have taken.

 

Well i just thought id share my story.

Thanks Mandy

Add me uif youd like to share pregnancy storys   lilmumma2010@hotmail.com

Re: Pregnant and taking Lamictal

Hi there Mandy

I felt a lot of hope from reading your pregnancy story, I'm trying to get pregnant and my doctor was trying to find info about the side affects this drug Lamictal can do during pregnancy, but I've found a lot which has given me a lot of hope. I'm taking folic acid and 400mlg of Lamictal a day, as far as I know it's the safest drug for women.

Thank you for your story.