Absence Epilepsy: Older vs Newer AEDs

Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Epilepsy

Opinion statement

Over the last one to two decades, several new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have become available. These medications have different mechanisms of action, metabolism, efficacy, and side effect profiles. Hence, it has become possible to customize medications for a particular patient. It has also become possible to use various combinations of treatments for refractory epilepsies. As medication options have increased, our goal has shifted to not only to maximize seizure control but also to minimize side effects. However, the older AEDs are still widely used. So the question arises—are newer medications better than older AEDs for the treatment of absence epilepsy? Based on a large multicenter class I study, older AEDs—ethosuximide and valproic acid—are more efficacious than newer AEDs. Due to reduced side effects, ethosuximide remains the first line treatment for childhood absence epilepsy.


Epilepsy Antiepileptic drugs Treatment AED Childhood absence epilepsy Juvenile absence epilepsy Jeavons syndrome 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Jeffrey R. Tenney has received grant support from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). Sejal Jain declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as:• Of importance•• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Division of NeurologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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