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Epilepsy Res. 2002 Nov;52(1):53-60.

Reducing overtreatment.

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Hunnewell 2, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Although treatment of epilepsy easily evolves into a situation of overtreatment, reversing the process can be difficult and time consuming. Benefits of reducing overtreatment may include a decrease in side effects, better seizure control, a simplification in the medication regimen, improved compliance, and reduced costs. The risks include seizure exacerbation due to withdrawal or due to loss of protection. Reversal of pharmacokinetic interactions may also lead to seizure aggravation or to drug toxicity. When reducing overtreatment, there are three main challenges: to select the drugs that should be eliminated, to choose an appropriate rate of reduction, and to anticipate reversible pharmacokinetic interactions that can have clinically significant consequences. Overall, there is a lack of published data to properly support recommendations for implementing reduction of overtreatment. This is particularly the case in the pediatric population and for the newer antiepileptic drugs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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