Neurocritical Care

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 175–184 | Cite as

Use of Prophylactic Anticonvulsants in Neurologic Critical Care: A Critical Appraisal

  • Kenneth C. Liu
  • Anish BhardwajEmail author


Seizures are commonly encountered in the setting of brain injury in neurologic critical care. Though seizure prophylaxis with the use of antiepileptic drugs is frequently utilized in variety of brain injury paradigms, it is often not based on evidence and is controversial. Significant difficulties arise from interpretation of supporting literature due to lack of definitions for early-vs.-late-seizures, variable end points with seizure prophylaxis, as well as methodologic inconsistencies for seizure detection. This descriptive review summarizes the existing literature on the use of prophylactic anticonvulsants in clinical paradigms commonly encountered in neurologic critical care and highlights the important controversies concerning their use.


Seizures Neurologic critical care Anticonvulsants Epilepsy 



Source of Support: This work was supported by Public Health Service NIH grant NS046379. The authors thank Tzipora Sofare, MA, for her editorial assistance in preparing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology and Peri-Operative MedicineOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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