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Neurology. 2004 Jan 13;62(1):23-7.

Systematic screening allows reduction of adverse antiepileptic drug effects: a randomized trial.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.



To determine the effectiveness of systematic screening with a brief 19-item self-report instrument, the Adverse Events Profile (AEP), to reduce adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and improve subjective health status.


The authors performed a prospective randomized trial comparing the use of the AEP with usual care without the AEP. Sixty-two patients with an AEP score of >or=45 were enrolled from a consecutive group of 200 consenting adults with epilepsy.


The mean percent improvement in AEP scores was greater in the patient group for which clinicians received the AEP compared with the usual care group (25% vs 5%; p < 0.01). Mean change in Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE)-89 total scores was not different between groups, but for the entire sample QOLIE-89 change was greater for patients having a 15-point improvement in AEP scores than for those with a 0- to 15-point improvement or a worsened score (24 vs 12 vs 3; analysis of variance, p < 0.008). More patients in the AEP group had a >15-point improvement in QOLIE-89 score (p < 0.03). Use of the AEP was associated with a 2.8-fold increase (95% CI, 1.7 to 4.8) in AED modifications. No difference in seizure rates was observed.


Systematic screening for antiepileptic drug side effects may increase identification of toxicity and guide medication changes to reduce adverse effects and possibly improve subjective health status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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