Author(s): Labar DR
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Understanding interrelationships between antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy can guide research into epilepsy treatment. A constant cohort of patients with data available at baseline and 12 months were drawn from the VNS patient outcome registry and analyzed for changes in AEDs and seizure rates. Of the 1,407 patients, group 1 (n = 896) took fewer (n = 228) or the same (n = 668) AEDs at 12 months compared to baseline. Group 2 (n = 511) took additional (n = 251) or different (n = 260) AEDs. Median seizure rate reductions after 12 months of VNS therapy were 58\% in group 1 and 55\% in group 2. The number of and specific AEDs remained unchanged for 668 patients and dosages remained the same for 269 (40\%) of these patients. The most commonly discontinued drugs were topiramate (n = 115), tiagabine (n = 78), carbamazepine (n = 62), lamotrigine (n = 56), and gabapentin (n = 52). Changes in seizure rates were not significantly different among patients who added levetiracetam (n = 151), zonisamide (n = 71), or oxcarbazepine (n = 46) to VNS. Changes in seizure rates were not significantly different among patients whose baseline AEDs were carbamazepine (n = 273), lamotrigine (n = 238), valproate (n = 201), topiramate (n = 190), or phenytoin (n = 151). Our results suggest the following: (a) patients commonly stay on the same AEDs during 12 months of treatment with VNS; (b) the registry cohort who had reduced AEDs by month 12 did not appear to experience any seizure exacerbation; and (c) no specific AED shows promise of unique additive antiepileptic effects in combination with VNS.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy