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HomeAnswersNeurologyphenytoinWill taking Phenytoin impact the first stage of pregnancy?

Can taking Phenytoin impact the first stage of pregnancy?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Hitesh Kumar

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 24, 2017
Reviewed AtSeptember 15, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am taking Phenytoin sodium 300 mg daily for the last 10 years. Will the medication impact on my first stage of pregnancy? If yes, should I take any alternative?

Answered by Dr. Hitesh Kumar


Welcome to icliniq.com. Are you pregnant already? Or planning for pregnancy? Phenytoin, especially in the first trimester (initial three months) of pregnancy, can affect the baby. It can increase the risk of congenital anomalies like fetal hydantoin syndrome or neural tube defects. If you are still planning for pregnancy, you should switch to other medication for seizure (after discussing with your neurologist). But if you are already pregnant, it is little risky to switch to another drug because while switching from one medication to another increase some risk of recurrence of seizures. And seizure during pregnancy can cause abortion or fetal distress. So, if you are pregnant already you can continue with Phenytoin. The risk of congenital anomaly is increased from 1 to 2 % (without any medication) to 5 to 7 % (with Phenytoin).

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Hitesh Kumar
Dr. Hitesh Kumar


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