Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Mary Pat MurphyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1627


Antiepileptic drugs (AED)


A group of medications used in the management of epilepsy.

Current Knowledge

The selection of an AED depends on the type of seizure, age of patient, and gender. According to the literature, monotherapy is the goal for the treatment of epilepsy, choosing medications targeting seizure control with fewest side effects. Monotherapy also makes it easier to monitor side effects. Usually, if one drug fails, another medication is trialed. If the initial AED fails, the physician typically will wean this medication and try another first-line drug. If monotherapy fails, polytherapy may be tried. The physician will maximize the first-line dose and then add a second-line medication. General monitoring for AEDs includes the frequency and severity of seizures, adverse events and side effects, and monitoring of plasma. The chart below identifies FDA indications for commonly used AEDs (Table 1).
Anticonvulsants, Table 1

Commonly used AED


Partial seizures


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References and Readings

  1. Lanctôt, K., Herrmann, N., Mazzotta, P., Khan, L., & Ingber, N. (2004). GABAergic function in Alzheimer's disease: Evidence for dysfunction and potential as a therapeutic target for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of Dementia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(7), 439–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MSN, CRRNPaoliUSA