Managing idiopathic intracranial hypertension in pregnancy: practical advice

Mark Thaller, Benjamin R Wakerley, Sally Abbott, Abd A Tahrani, Susan P Mollan, Alexandra J Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is more common in women of reproductive age who have obesity, yet there is little information on its management specifically in pregnancy. Women with IIH should plan their pregnancy including discussing contraception before pregnancy, recognising that hormonal contraceptives are not contraindicated. Potentially teratogenic medications including acetazolamide and topiramate are not recommended during pregnancy or in those with immediate plans to conceive; prescribing acetazolamide in pregnancy must only follow discussion with the patient and their obstetrician. Ideally, patients should aim to achieve disease remission or control before pregnancy, through optimising their weight. Although weight gain is expected in pregnancy, excessive weight gain may exacerbate IIH and increase maternal and fetal complications; evidence-based recommendations for non-IIH pregnancies may help in guiding optimal gestational weight gain. The vast majority of women with IIH can have a normal vaginal delivery, with spinal or epidural anaesthesia if needed, provided the papilloedema is stable or the IIH is in remission. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
Number of pages9
JournalPractical Neurology
Early online date21 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:




Dive into the research topics of 'Managing idiopathic intracranial hypertension in pregnancy: practical advice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this