This study aimed to assess characteristics of pregnant women taking antiepileptic drugs with inadequate folic acid intake. This cross-sectional study examined pregnant women taking antiepileptic drugs who were registered in the Japanese Drug Information Institute in Pregnancy (JDIIP) database between October 2005 and December 2016. Participants were classified into two groups according to when they started folic acid supplementation (before pregnancy: ‘adequate’, after pregnancy or never: ‘inadequate’). Logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate factors associated with inadequate folic acid intake. Of 12,794 registrants, 468 pregnant women were taking antiepileptics during the first trimester. Of these, we analysed data from 456 women who had no missing data. As a result, inadequate folic acid intake was noted among 83.3% of them, suggesting that the current level of folic acid intake is insufficient overall. Younger age, smoking, alcohol drinking, multiparity, unplanned pregnancy, and being prescribed AEDs by paediatric or psychiatric departments were independent factors associated with inadequate folic acid intake. As planned pregnancy was the strongest factor, healthcare professionals should ensure that childbearing women taking antiepileptics are informed of the importance of planned pregnancy. In addition, healthcare professionals must gain a better understanding of folic acid intake, as the prevalence of adequate intake differed according to which departments prescribed antiepileptic drugs.
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