Reference work entry
Antiepileptic drugs (AED)
A group of medications used in the management of epilepsy.
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
References and Readings
- 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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