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Self‐reported symptoms in patients on antiepileptic drugs in monotherapy

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Wieshmann UC, Tan GM, Baker G. Self‐reported symptoms in patients on antiepileptic drugs in monotherapy. Acta Neurol Scand: 2011: 124: 355–358. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Objective –  To ascertain the frequency of self‐reported symptoms in patients taking antiepileptic drugs (AED).

Methods –  We included patients on carbamazepine (CBZ) n = 36, valproate (VPA) n = 21, levetiracetam (LEV) n = 12, phenytoin (PHT) n = 11, lamotrigine (LTG) n = 20, patients not taking anticonvulsive drugs n = 19, and healthy control subjects (CTRL) n = 41 to complete the Liverpool Adverse Event Profile (LAEP).

Results –  The mean LAEP scores were CBZ/PHT/LEV/VPA/LTG/noAED/CTRL = 44.97/42.00/41.00/40.33/32.42/42.00/30.80. LEV scored overall in the same range as the older AED but had a different adverse effect profile with self‐reported anger (33%) and shaky hands (42%) particularly frequent. Patients with depression or uncontrolled epilepsy had significantly higher LAEP scores than patients without depression or uncontrolled epilepsy.

Conclusion –  Our unblinded observational study of self‐reported symptoms suggested LTG was overall the drug with the least self‐reported symptoms. Larger studies are needed to determine whether this was a truly significant difference. LEV had a different side effect profile to older AED. Confounding factors were depression and uncontrolled epilepsy. This observation should be further tested with randomized studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2011


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