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I have done my research on phenobarbital during pregnancy and one thing I came across was that phenobarbital blocks vitamin K from getting through the placenta and into the fetus. Vitamin K deficiency means that once injured, bleeding won't stop on its own. Not saying that all babies get bruised from birth (although some probably do). Now I know that vitamin K is injected into the foot of a newborn to prevent this unstoppable bleeding from happening.

If phenobarbital is still the necessary medication of choice, even during pregnany, this looks like dilemma.

Now I also looked up if vitamin K toxicity is possible (because I know vitamin K is fat soluble and with most fat soluble vitamins, toxicity is possible be it from eating organ meats (especially liver), or from supplements. It turns out that at least with vitamin K2 (the most common vitamin K supplement), toxicity is not possible or if it is, is not feasible by taking a supplement.

I was wondering if taking a vitamin K supplement will prevent a fetus from being born with vitamin K deficiency in a woman who takes phenobarbital for seizures.

So will taking a vitamin K supplement prevent a fetus from having a vitamin K deficiency or is this then just to be dealt with otherwise that a baby will not get enough vitamin K during pregnancy?

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  • So basically, whether or not I take vitamin K while pregnant, the baby will still be more prone to bleeding if I take phenobarbital to prevent seizures and thus the routine neonatal vitamin K shot would be even more important. So I can't prevent the deficiency but it won't be much of a problem anyway.
    – Caters
    Nov 6 '17 at 7:24

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