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June 1976

Electroencephalographic Correlates of Oral Contraceptive Use in Psychiatric Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Hillside Division, Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center, Glen Oaks, NY (Drs Struve, Saraf, Klein, Ms Becka), Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Stony Brook (Dr Saraf), and Special Education Department, College of New Rochelle, NY (Dr Arko).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(6):741-745. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770060065009

• Previous studies have pointed to wake electroencephalographic changes associated with oral contraceptives. This investigation sought to determine if sleep EEG activation would show additional EEG-oral contraceptive relationships not previously suspected. With blind procedures, oral contraceptive and EEG data were collected on 110 adult women. Three age-equated comparison groups were formed: (1) never used pill (control); (2) previously used pill without side effects (asymptomatic); and (3) previously used pill with side effects (symptomatic). Analyses indicated a significant statistical relationship between paroxysmal EEGs and symptomatic pill use. No difference in paroxysmal EEG incidence existed between control and asymptomatic pill use groups. Among prior pill users, women with paroxysmal EEGs reported almost twice the side effect incidence (81.3%) as did women with normal EEGs (42.1%).