Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Papers Research pointers

Taking folate in pregnancy and risk of maternal breast cancer

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1375

Rapid Response:

folate supplementation in women taking anticonvulsant drugs

Should there be any extra concern for women who are taking drugs for epilepsy and taking the recommended 5mg of folic acid supplementation over longer periods than the general population. These women may be advised to take folic acid 5mg for at least three months preconceptually and throughout the whole of their pregnancy. Some may also advise women on anticonvulsants to take folic acid at 5mg for all their childbearing years. The children of these women are also potentially at greater risk of birth defects if their mothers are scared off taking folic acid by the isolated presentation of this article in the general media. This subject is now in the public domain and would benefit from clarification.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 December 2004
James N Lee
epilepsy support nurse
wessex neurological centre, southampton general hospital, s0166yd