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Author Notes:

Corresponding author. Address: Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, 1365 Clifton Road NE, Suite B6100, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Fax: +1 404 778 2535. zstowe@emory.edu (Z.N. Stowe)


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH Specialized Center of Research MH-68036 (to Z.N.S.).


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Epilepsy
  • Polytherapy
  • Postpartum depression
  • Pregnancy

Postpartum depression in women with epilepsy: Influence of antiepileptic drugs in a prospective study


Journal Title:

Epilepsy and Behavior


Volume 16, Number 3


, Pages 426-430

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Patients with epilepsy are at high risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) and, according to one report, postpartum depression (PPD) as well. The study described here sought to determine the prevalence and risk factors for PPD among women with epilepsy. Fifty-six women with epilepsy participating in a prospective study of perinatal antiepileptic drug (AED) pharmacokinetics were included. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Fourteen participants (25.0%) had a postnatal BDI score ≥12 indicative of PPD. Logistic regression indicated that significant risk factors for PPD among women with epilepsy included multiparity (odds ratio = 12.5) and AED polytherapy (odds ratio = 9.3). The rate of PPD was unaffected by the use of specific AEDs. In conclusion, PPD rates are higher among women with epilepsy than the general population, particularly those who are multiparous or receiving AED polytherapy, and there is no evidence that AED selection modifies this risk.

Copyright information:

© 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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