High dose folic acid supplementation in women with epilepsy: are we sure it is safe?
Most experts agree that folic acid supplementation is a key preconception intervention, particularly in women with epilepsy who take anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Primary prevention of neural tube defect through folic acid supplementation results in reduction of risk in an otherwise healthy population. The current folic acid supplementation recommendation is that all women of childbearing potential be supplemented with at least 0.4 mg of folic acid daily prior to conception and during pregnancy. It is recommended that all women with epilepsy and of childbearing potential be supplemented with folic acid daily prior to conception and during pregnancy. However, considering the potential significant drug-drug interactions between high doses of folic acid and some AEDs in patients with epilepsy and also with the emerging evidence from animal studies that high levels of folic acid throughout gestation may have adverse effects on fetal brain development, it is not suggested to advocate high dose folic acid supplementation in women with epilepsy until more information is available about its appropriate, safe and optimal dosing.