, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 356-368
Date: 12 Jun 2012

Antiepileptic Drug Selection for Partial-Onset Seizures

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Opinion statement

Effective treatment of seizures resulting from epilepsy relies on several basic principles, regardless of which drug or treatment is selected. Treatment starts with a confident diagnosis that the symptoms are, indeed, seizure. The seizure type should be classified as focal in onset or primary generalized, and there should be a relentless search for the etiology. Many antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are available to treat partial-onset seizures. Given that the efficacy of AEDs is comparable, selection of the appropriate drug is mostly determined by whether any comorbidities are present, such as migraine, obesity, depression, or chronic pain. In the absence of comorbidities, it depends on the side effect profile, cost, and convenience. Most AEDs, with a few exceptions, must be increased to a maximum tolerated dose before a second drug should be added. Most patients can become seizure free or adequately controlled if continued interventions are considered at each encounter until patients are seizure free.