International Women’s Day: Angelini Pharma partners with the IBE to support women with epilepsy

AP23 G 1030 IWD23
  • Published: 8 Mar 2023

To mark International Women’s Day, Angelini Pharma is once again at the side of the IBE, to support “Women and Epilepsy”, an awareness project to eliminate the stigma against women with epilepsy. From 8 to 26 March, Angelini Pharma will be supporting the international awareness campaign on epilepsy in women (

Encountering the disease has a higher impact on a woman than it does on a man, especially from puberty, with a real risk of suffering greater marginalisation. Epilepsy is an insidious disease, strongly influenced by female hormones that can have a direct effect on both the frequency of seizures and the effectiveness of medication, to the extent of creating greater problems for women with the condition throughout their lives, from puberty through to the menopause.

According to International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) data, approximately half of all women of childbearing potential with the disease experience an increase in seizures during the menstrual cycle, a phenomenon known as catamenial epilepsy1,2. But there’s more. The disease also has a strong impact during pregnancy and on the effectiveness of contraceptive medication. A recent IBE survey conducted in nine European countries revealed that between 60 and 90 percent of women with epilepsy were only informed of the risks of therapy when they were already pregnant. On the other hand, at least half of women treated by a neurologist and a gynaecologist stated that they did not receive adequate advice on planning the pregnancy itself3.

Furthermore, just under half of the women interviewed in the nine European countries claimed  that they would avoid becoming pregnant if they were taking anti-epileptic medication. Yet the scientific information available shows that a healthy pregnancy is possible also for women with epilepsy and that the majority of them give birth to healthy babies.

It is therefore essential to make it clear that epilepsy is a disease that can be lived with, especially if accompanied by specialist support. More specifically, if they are advised and monitored properly, women with epilepsy can face a pregnancy with absolute peace of mind.

Angelini Pharma continues to offer the IBE its support with the aim of dispelling harmful myths and misconceptions regarding epilepsy: a challenge that can only be fought by conducting large-scale awareness campaigns like “Women and Epilepsy” with determination and firmness.
To mark International Women’s Day, Agnese Cattaneo, Chief Medical Officer of Angelini Pharma, focuses on this topic in a pulse published on her Linkedin profile.


[1] Pennell P. Hormonal Aspects of Epilepsy. Neurol Clin. 2010; 27(4): 941.

[2] Maguire M, and Nevitt S. Treatments for seizures in catamenial (menstrual-related) epilepsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019; 10(10):CD013225.

[3] International Bureau for Epilepsy. Epilepsy and pregnancy – survey report. Available at: Last accessed: March 2023.