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Folic acid and epilepsy

(4 Posts)
MrsHende Sat 15-Jan-11 15:14:12

I've just read on the pre-conception pages that you might need to take a higher daily dose of folic acid if you have a family history of epilepsy.

Do any of you know if that just applies to the woman's family or also the man's?

soundofherwings Sat 15-Jan-11 15:40:54

I'm a medical student, and definitely no expert, but as far as I know, unless you are epileptic yourself, there is no need for a higher dose. A higher dose is recommended if you're on anti-epileptic meds as it reduces the risk of birth defects, and some medications can interfere with the metabolism of folic acid.

If you do need a higher dose, it would only be the mother's family history that needed to be taken into account as presumably the advice is based on the mother's risk of developing seizures during pregnancy, which the father couldn't affect.

Ask your doctor if you're worried, but to me this advice doesn't really make sense!

unfitmother Sat 15-Jan-11 15:44:57

It's the anti-convulsant medication that increases the risk of birth defects. I was precribed 5mg rather than the 400mcg usually reccomended.

MrsHende Sat 15-Jan-11 15:46:48

Thank you! That makes sense to me now.

It didn't occur to me that it might be because of the medicine a mother with epilepsy might be taking, I assumed it was to prevent the baby developing epilepsy.

My DH has epilepsy so I thought I should check.

Thanks again

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