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Q. Can taking Phenytoin impact the first stage of pregnancy?

Answered by
Dr. Hitesh Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 11, 2018

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?

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Hello,

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).


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