Call To Action
Call to Action for all Women Taking Anticonvulsant Medications
Women of childbearing age who take anticonvulsant medications for conditions that include epilepsy, migraine headaches, and certain psychiatric disorders, are urged to talk to their healthcare providers about treatment options. This Call to Action was created by the Epilepsy Foundation in cooperation with medical experts and representatives from leading medical professional and voluntary health organizations.
Anticonvulsants are used to control seizures in people with epilepsy, but are more frequently prescribed for the treatment of non-epileptic neurological pain symptoms, such as migraine headaches and tremors, and for psychiatric conditions, such as mood and bipolar disorders. According to experts, there were more than 56 million prescriptions written last year making anticonvulsants the fifth most prescribed class of medications.
The risks to the fetus from anticonvulsant drug use occurs very early in the pregnancy and is compounded by the fact that nearly 50 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, leaving women unaware and unprepared for the potential risks.
The Epilepsy Foundation convened a meeting with medical experts and leading medical professional and voluntary health organizations to develop the Action Steps to empower women to reduce the risks associated with anticonvulsant drugs, and establish a more successful partnership with their healthcare providers.