Caring for transgender patients with epilepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Approximately 25 million individuals older than age 15 identify as transgender, representing about 0.3–0.9% of the world's population. The aim of this paper is to identify and describe important medical and social considerations facing transgender persons with epilepsy. Methods: We performed literature searches on the following terms: transgender AND epilepsy, transgender AND neurology, gender dysphoria AND epilepsy, gender dysphoria AND neurology. We also performed literature searches for common feminizing or masculinizing treatment regimens, and searched for interactions of those treatment regimens with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and with seizures. Results: There are multiple bidirectional interactions between AEDs and the commonly used treatments for aligning external sex characteristics with identified gender. The scope of the transgender population with epilepsy remains to be elucidated. Significance: Transgender patients with epilepsy face significant social and medical challenges. Interactions between medical gender-affirming treatments and AEDs are common, and management must depend on knowledge of these interactions to provide appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1667-1672
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Female-to-male
  • Gender identity
  • Male-to-female
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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