It is known that Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbitone, Primidone and Ethosuximide are all hepatic enzyme inducing drugs which can interfere with the function of Contraceptive medication.
It is important that any teenager or woman taking these anti-convulsant drugs who is also taking any form of contraceptive pill be told about the interaction of these drugs.
It is also known that women suffering with Epilepsy may have a greater risk of having children with birth defects than the women in the general population. At present the risk is about 2-3% for the population and 11% for Epileptic mothers so it is important to choose an effective form of contaception.
Today, many girls from the age of 14 years old and upwards are prescribed oral contraceptives by their GP so it is important to enquire about this when prescribiing Anti-Convulsants such as Carbamazepine and Ethosuximde.
Year after year many unwanted pregnancies take place in girls under the age of 16 years. This is a very traumatic time which will be more difficult if there is also an increase risk for the child being disabled because of the Anti-Convulsants taken to treat the mother's Epilepsy.
Pregnancy is a very stressful time and may increase the risk of seizures, so that effective treatment for Epilepsy remains very important. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should anyone taking any anti-convulsant medication stop taking this without first discussing with your GP or Neurologist.