Antiepileptic drug management in pregnancy (EMPiRE)

Published: July 31 2018
Last updated: September 28 2022

Antiepileptic drug (AED) management in pregnancy: an evaluation of effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and acceptability of dose adjustment strategies (EMPiRE)

EMPiRE was a study on the management of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) for women with epilepsy who are pregnant.

When a woman with epilepsy is pregnant, it is important that her doctor considers such issues as:

  • choice of AEDs,
  • risk of seizures to her and the baby while pregnant,
  • risk of any anti-epileptic drugs to unborn child, and
  • the increased monitoring and attendance at maternity clinics.

Both seizures during pregnancy and the effects of anti-epileptic drugs are thought to affect children born to mothers with epilepsy.

There is very little research on the type of care and treatment that is beneficial to the mother and baby. Therefore, doctors may find it difficult to reliably advise on the best way to treat and manage such patients during this time. Doctors are responsible for reducing the risk of seizure while ensuring that the drugs do not affect the developing baby.

The research team carrying out the study was led by Professor Khalid Khan from Queen Mary University, London. The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme

Epilepsy Action is delighted to support such an important research study. Acting as a stakeholder, we will help promote and publish information about Empire in our magazines, website and through our local events.