Prevention and Management of Side‐effects of Antiepileptic Drugs

Gaetano Zaccara, Piero Cesare Perucca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Adverse effects are a major deterrent to successful treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Adverse effects can be classified in different ways. Using a modified version of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, adverse effects of AEDs can be distinguished into five types: type A (acute, related to known mechanism of action of the drug); type B (idiosyncratic); type C (chronic); type D (delayed); and type E (secondary to drug interactions). This chapter discusses the effects of types A, B and C. Before prescribing a drug, the adverse effect profile should be tailored to the characteristics of the individual patient. For prevention measures to be effective, a therapeutic alliance between the clinician and the patient is necessary. The chapter also talks about medical and psychiatric comorbidities, central nervous system (CNS) dose‐dependent adverse effects, titration rates, and serum drug concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Treatment of Epilepsy
EditorsSimon Shorvon, Emilio Perucca, Jerome Engel, Jr.
Place of PublicationUK
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781118936979
ISBN (Print)9781118937006
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Zaccara, G., & Perucca, P. C. (2016). Prevention and Management of Side‐effects of Antiepileptic Drugs. In S. Shorvon, E. Perucca, & J. Engel, Jr. (Eds.), The Treatment of Epilepsy (Fourth ed., pp. 275-287). Wiley-Blackwell.