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GPs face conflict on epilepsy

Dr Eleanor Guthrie has warned that GPs may face difficulties following the new

national guidelines on epilepsy she was involved in drawing up.

Draft guidelines from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network on epilepsy in young people have backed the Government's ban on starting female patients on sodium valproate without specialist advice.

But Dr Eleanor Guthrie, a GP in Glasgow who was involved in developing the SIGN guidelines, said there were not enough neurologists for GPs to consult.

The guidelines state GPs should warn adolescent girls that anti-epilepsy drugs increase the risk of foetal abnormalities and that data suggests the risk with valproate may be higher than with lamotriginne.

Dr Guthrie added: 'It's a balancing act, providing the information and making people aware of the risks.'

She said there was a case for prescribing valproate to adolescents as it does not affect the contraceptive pill.

Dr Guthrie added: 'In certain types of epilepsy, valproate is still the most effective drug.'

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