Antiepileptic medications in multiple sclerosis: adverse effects in a three-year follow-up study
- Cite this article as:
- Solaro, C., Brichetto, G., Battaglia, M.A. et al. Neurol Sci (2005) 25: 307. doi:10.1007/s10072-004-0362-9
- 147 Views
Neuropathic pain and paroxysmal symptoms are common in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, although no double-blind clinical trial has been conducted to support antiepileptic medications (AED) use in MS. The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of AED utilisation and reported adverse events, in a cohort of MS patients. For a period of 3 years the rationale for prescribing AED, adverse effects, treatment duration and reasons for discontinuation were recorded in a database. Carbamazepine (CBZ) was prescribed in 36 patients, with adverse effects reported in 20 cases, of which 12 mimicked a relapse. Gabapentin (GBP) was prescribed in 94 patients, with adverse effects reported in 16 cases and in one case mimicked a relapse. Lamotrigine (LMT) was prescribed in 22 patients, with adverse effects reported in 4 cases, none mimicking a relapse. The present study found a significantly higher incidence of adverse effects in patients treated with CBZ, with a high rate of discontinuation at low dosages and episodes of evident worsening of neurological functioning compared to GBP or LMT.