Prophylactic Treatment with Antiepileptic Drugs (AED)

  • Thalia Valeta


The main treatment of epilepsy is usually with antiepileptic drugs taken daily for as long as the patient has active epilepsy (prophylactic treatment). The aim of treatment is total freedom or maximal reduction of seizures and best quality of life without significant side effects. Currently, there are 9 “old AEDs” and 17 “new AEDs”. Each of these AEDs, old or new, serves its own purpose, has specific efficacy in certain types of epileptic seizures, side effects, and interactions. AED, like any other drug, are associated with side effects. These may be mild and short-lived but others may be severe. Side effects of AEDs should be thoroughly sought and assessed in treated patients. Approximately, 70–80% of patients respond well to a single (monotherapy) or combined drug (polytherapy) prophylactic treatment.


Monotherapy Polytherapy Seizure-freedom Side effects Adverse drug reactions Drug interactions Generic drug name Brand drug name Titration 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thalia Valeta
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.First Neurology and Psychiatry ClinicUniversity of Athens, Aeginition HospitalAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and EpilepsiesSt. Thomas’ HospitalLondonUK

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