Upsher-Smith Laboratories Release: Challenges in Managing Women With Epilepsy Discussed on

Published: Nov 28, 2012

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 1.5 million women and girls in the United States have epilepsy, of which nearly 500,000 are women of childbearing age.1,2 Treating women with epilepsy, especially women of childbearing age, presents significant challenges to physicians. [], Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc's [] epilepsy-focused educational website, discusses these challenges and provides professional insight by some of the epilepsy community's most respected physicians including Dr. Cynthia Harden, Chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center, North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and Dr. Christopher Skidmore, Director of Neurology Residency/Assistant Professor of Neurology, at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please visit:

"There are several issues that need to be considered when providing treatment to women with epilepsy of childbearing age including: hormonal fluctuations and their effect on epilepsy; drug interactions between oral contraceptives and antiepileptic drugs; and pregnancy," said Dr. Cynthia Harden. "As clinicians, we need to understand these challenges and identify an appropriate treatment plan unique to each patient."

Dr. Christopher Skidmore added: "When discussing epilepsy and pregnancy with my female patients, the first and most important thing we discuss is that women with epilepsy can safely have babies and that approximately 95% of babies born to women with epilepsy are born healthy. There are necessary steps that should be considered to help ensure the patient's and baby's health including: staying on an antiepileptic therapy regimen that is safe for both the patient and her baby; the need for regular office visits throughout the pregnancy; and the benefits of a prenatal vitamin with extra folic acid."

Information available on relating to the treatment of Women with Epilepsy includes:

  • Whitepaper: Special Considerations for Managing Women with Epilepsy with contributions from Dr. Cynthia Harden. The whitepaper focuses on gender-related issues including: oral contraceptives; sexual dysfunction; infertility; birth defects; and other issues relative to the treatment of women with epilepsy.
  • Video: Treating Women with Epilepsy in the Reproductive Age with personal perspective provided by Dr. Christopher Skidmore. In the video, Dr. Skidmore discusses pregnancy concerns in women with epilepsy including the need for a higher level of care throughout pregnancy.
  • Podcast: Women & Epilepsy presented by Dr. Cynthia Harden. In the podcast, Dr. Harden shares her views on many of the challenges associated with treating women with epilepsy.
  • Additional Women with Epilepsy features include: frequently asked questions; agree/disagree statements; and an online polling question. is an educational disease website offering healthcare professionals who treat epilepsy some of the latest evidence-based scientific data, dialogue on modern therapy issues, and expert insights by some of the field's most respected clinicians. The site features regularly updated content including videos, white papers, podcasts, and interactive components addressing various epilepsy-related topics. In addition to Women with Epilepsy, also features current content related to Epilepsy & Comorbidities, Practice Management & Epilepsy, and Aging & Epilepsy.

Upsher-Smith's Expanding CNS Pipeline

Upsher-Smith's central nervous system (CNS) pipeline includes a number of investigational drug programs for various indications within epilepsy, including USL255, USL260, and USL261.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of cognitive and physical functions. More than two million people in the U.S. are estimated to be affected by epilepsy with about 200,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed each year.3

About Upsher-Smith

Upsher-Smith, founded in 1919, is an independent and privately-owned specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in Maple Grove, Minnesota that focuses on product growth and innovation for branded, branded-generic and generic pharmaceuticals. Upsher-Smith has a particular focus on providing therapies to assist people suffering from central nervous system diseases (including epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease) and also markets products relating to cardiology, dermatology and women's health. In addition to products currently marketed, Upsher-Smith has an emerging neurology pipeline with three products in clinical development, two of which are in Phase III clinical trials. For more information, visit

  1. Cramer JA, Gordon J, Schachter S, Devinsky O. Women with epilepsy: hormonal issues from menarche through menopause. Epilepsy Behav. 2007;11(2):160-178.
  2. Harden CL, Hopp J, Ting TY, et al; American Academy of Neurology; American Epilepsy Society. Practice parameter update: management issues for women with epilepsyfocus on pregnancy (an evidence-based review): obstetrical complications and change in seizure frequency: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee and Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society. Neurology. 2009;73(2):126-132.
  3. Epilepsy Foundation. Available at: Accessed on October 25, 2012.

SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories

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