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Contraception for women taking antiepileptic drugs
  1. Michael D O'Brien, MD, FRCP, Emeritus Physician for Nervous1 and
  2. John Guillebaud, FRCSEd, FRCOG, Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health2
  1. Guy's Hospital, London, UK
  2. University College London, London UK


Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) that induce hepatic enzyme activity may alter the metabolism of most hormonal methods of contraception, and this may affect their contraceptive efficacy. There is also the potential for the hormonal method to affect the AED. Women may also be prescribed AEDs to treat conditions other than epilepsy, such as chronic pain and migraine. These effects should be considered in the choice of both the treatment of the epilepsy and the choice of contraceptive method. This review considers these interactions and offers advice about their management.

  • antiepileptic drugs
  • contraception
  • epilepsy
  • liver enzyme induction
  • women

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