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Epilepsy is a relatively common maternal complication affecting 0.3-0.5% of pregnant women. For most mothers with epilepsy, the use of antiepileptic drugs (AED) is unavoidable, even during pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, the fetus is indirectly exposed to AED via the placenta and breast milk. AED are also prescribed for female patients with other diseases, such as bipolar disorders. In clinical settings, physicians are frequently questioned whether or not women patients taking AED should breast-feed their offspring. Thus, it is necessary to establish an optimum AED regimen for women taking AED, in particular for those with epilepsy during pregnancy and lactation. In this article, we critically review the effects of AED on infants via breast milk and attempt to provide suggestions for clinicians regarding these effects during breast-feeding, based on the data of transplacental passage of AED, breast milk concentration/maternal serum concentration ratios, AED metabolism in infants and the effects of AED in breast milk on infants. © 2010 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2010 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Citation

Lei Chen, Fang Liu, Shuichi Yoshida, Sunao Kaneko. Is breast-feeding of infants advisable for epileptic mothers taking antiepileptic drugs? Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences. 2010 Oct;64(5):460-8

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PMID: 20923425

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