Author(s): Greenwood RS
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Abstract Because the efficacies of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are often equivalent, selection of an AED is often determined by adverse effects. Differences in methods for labeling adverse effects and in the adverse effect terms themselves, variations in the populations studied, and inconsistent classifications of adverse effects make it difficult to know how to use information on adverse effects to choose an AED. Effort is underway to develop more extensive and internationally acceptable descriptive terms for adverse effects. Comparison of adverse effects in patients taking AEDs with adverse events in control groups is helpful; however, data from controlled studies are often lacking for most AEDs. Because of these limitations, the clinician must adopt a preventative and early detection approach based on some general principles. This review outlines factors to consider for avoiding and detecting AED adverse effects. The occurrence of weight change with AEDs is reviewed extensively, serving to illustrate how the principle factors can be used to avoid and manage adverse effects and where there is need for better studies of the short- and long-term adverse effects of AEDs.
This article was published in Epilepsia
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy