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What tests are required before taking anticonvulsants?

John Preston, PsyD
Psychology
Pretreatment laboratory tests are required for the anticonvulsants Depakote, Tegretol, and Trileptal. Specific tests depend on which drug is used but often include complete blood count, platelets, electrolytes, cholesterol, triglycerides, liver function tests, electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), and pregnancy test. Because Depakote can cause polycystic ovaries in prepubertal girls, periodic imaging with a sonogram is sometimes used to detect the early stages of this condition. After puberty the following symptoms may signal the onset of polycystic ovaries: abnormal hair growth on the chest or face and/or irregular menses. Pretreatment laboratory tests are generally not required for Lamictal.
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Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.