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Concern over folic acid in pregnant women with epilepsy

UK researchers have questioned the recommended high doses (5mg) of folic acid in women taking anti-epileptic drugs who are planning to conceive or who are in the early stages of pregnancy.

In a study of 1,935 women who reported to receive pre-conceptual folic acid there were 76 major congenital malformations (MCM) and eight neural tube defects compared 53 MCM and eight neural tube defects in 2,375 women who reported to receive the supplement later in pregnancy or not at all.

Extrapolation from studies carried out in the general population to groups of women with epilepsy may be questionable as the increased risk of MCM recorded in this group may occur through mechanisms other than that of folic acid metabolism, they concluded.

Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

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