The safety of treating newly diagnosed epilepsy

Sameer Sharma, Patrick Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Epilepsy is a serious chronic neurological disorder manifested by an enduring symptomatic predisposition to seizures. Newly diagnosed individuals face increased morbidity, mortality, and socioeconomic costs. Anti-epileptic drug therapy is the treatment usually prescribed, which has efficacy in seizure control and mitigating long-term mortality. Areas covered: Safety of anti-epileptic drug therapy in adults with a focus in newly diagnosed patients. Areas covered include the most commonly experienced adverse drug effects, as well as those with the highest impacts on drug tolerability, quality of life, morbidity and mortality. Evidence was also reviewed to identify clinical strategies to improve the safety of anti-epileptic drug therapy. Expert opinion: Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are mostly effective and well tolerated. However, a lack of standardised reporting of adverse drug effects in trials and in clinical practice provides an obstacle for evaluation of which adverse drug effects need to be prioritised in management. Improvement in the reporting of cognitive and other effects, as well as improved precision medicine and pharmacogenomics to target the incidence of high-mortality idiosyncratic reactions, will help to reduce the harm of AEDs in people newly diagnosed with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • anti-epileptic drug therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • pharmacogenomics
  • precision medicine
  • safety in treating epilepsy

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