Use and safety of antiepileptic drugs in psychiatric inpatients—data from the AMSP study

  • Katrin DruschkyEmail author
  • Stefan Bleich
  • Renate Grohmann
  • Rolf R. Engel
  • Alexandra Kleimann
  • Susanne Stübner
  • Waldemar Greil
  • Sermin Toto
Original Paper


The psychiatric utilization patterns and risks of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) were assessed by using data from the drug safety programme Arzneimittelsicherheit in der Psychiatrie over the time period 1993–2013. In a total of 432,215 patients, the main indications for AED use were acute mania, schizoaffective disorder, and schizophrenic and organic psychoses. Valproic acid (VPA) was the most common substance across all of those groups, reaching administration rates of up to 50% since 2005, at which time carbamazepine (CBZ) administration consistently dropped below a rate of 10%. Lamotrigine (LTG) and pregabalin (PGB) increased in relevance after 2005 and 2010, respectively (with administration rates of up to 9%), whereas oxcarbazepine (OXC) was least prevalent (<3%). The mean rates of severe adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ranged from 6 cases per 1000 patients treated (VPA) to 19/1000 (OXC) and were significantly lower with treatment with VPA compared to OXC and CBZ. Hyponatremia was the leading ADR during treatment with OXC; severe allergic skin reactions were most often observed during treatment with CBZ and LTG, and severe oedema was most common during treatment with PGB. Severe hyponatremia induced by OXC was observed significantly more often in female patients than in male patients.


Antiepileptic drugs AMSP programme Drug utilization Adverse drug reactions 



The authors are grateful to all participating hospitals and drug monitors for their voluntary and careful collection of data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The AMSP Drug Safety Program is organised by non-profit associations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. AMSP has been supported with unrestricted educational and research grants since 1993 by the following companies:

Austrian companies Astra Zeneca Österreich GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim Austria, Bristol-Myers Squibb GmbH, CSC Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Eli Lilly GmbH, Germania Pharma GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH, Janssen-Cilag Pharma GmbH, Lundbeck GmbH, Novartis Pharma GmbH, Pfizer Med Inform, Wyeth Lederle Pharma GmbH.

German companies Abbott GmbH & Co. KG, AstraZeneca GmbH, Aventis Pharma Deutschland GmbH GE–O/R/N, Bayer Vital GmbH, Boehringer Mannheim GmbH, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Ciba Geigy GmbH, Desitin Arzneimittel GmbH, Duphar Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Eisai GmbH, esparma GmbH Arzneimittel, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Hoffmann-La Roche AG Medical Affairs, Janssen-Cilag GmbH, Janssen Research Foundation, Knoll Deutschland GmbH, Lilly Deutschland GmbH Niederlassung Bad Homburg, Lundbeck GmbH & Co. KG, Novartis Pharma GmbH, Nordmark Arzneimittel GmbH, Organon GmbH, Otsuka-Pharma Frankfurt, Pfizer GmbH, Pharmacia & Upjohn GmbH, Promonta Lundbeck Arzneimittel, Rhone-Poulenc Rohrer, Sanofi-Synthelabo GmbH, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland, Schering AG, SmithKlineBeecham Pharma GmbH, Solvay Arzneimittel GmbH, Synthelabo Arzneimittel GmbH, Dr. Wilmar Schwabe GmbH & Co., Thiemann Arzneimittel GmbH, Troponwerke GmbH & Co. KG, Upjohn GmbH, Wander Pharma GmbH, Wyeth-Pharma GmbH.

Swiss companies AHP (Schweiz) AG, AstraZeneca AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb AG, Desitin Pharma GmbH, Eli Lilly (Suisse) S.A., Essex Chemie AG, GlaxoSmithKline AG, Janssen-Cilag AG, Lundbeck (Suisse) AG, Organon AG, Pfizer AG, Pharmacia, Sanofi-Aventis (Suisse) S.A., Sanofi-Synthelabo SA, Servier SA, SmithKlineBeecham AG, Solvay Pharma AG, Wyeth AHP (Suisse) AG, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals AG.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrin Druschky
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Bleich
    • 2
  • Renate Grohmann
    • 3
  • Rolf R. Engel
    • 3
  • Alexandra Kleimann
    • 2
  • Susanne Stübner
    • 3
  • Waldemar Greil
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sermin Toto
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Erlangen-NuernbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and PsychotherapyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyLudwig Maximilian University of MunichMunichGermany
  4. 4.Psychiatric Hospital KilchbergKilchberg-ZurichSwitzerland

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