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Epilepsia. 2004 May;45(5):401-9.

Efficacy and tolerability of the new antiepileptic drugs, I: Treatment of new-onset epilepsy: report of the TTA and QSS Subcommittees of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society.

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  • 1Neurological Institute, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



To assess the evidence demonstrating efficacy, tolerability, and safety of seven new antiepileptic drugs [AEDs; gabapentin (GBP), lamotrigine (LTG), topiramate (TPM), tiagabine (TGB), oxcarbazepine (OXC), levetiracetam (LEV), and zonisamide (ZNS), reviewed in the order in which these agents received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] in the treatment of children and adults with newly diagnosed partial and generalized epilepsies.


A 23-member committee, including general neurologists, pediatric neurologists, epileptologists, and doctors in pharmacy, evaluated the available evidence based on a structured literature review including MEDLINE, Current Contents, and Cochrane Library for relevant articles from 1987 until September 2002, with selected manual searches up to 2003.


Evidence exists, either from comparative or dose-controlled trials, that GBP, LTG, TPM, and OXC have efficacy as monotherapy in newly diagnosed adolescents and adults with either partial or mixed seizure disorders. Evidence also shows that LTG is effective for newly diagnosed absence seizures in children. Evidence for effectiveness of the new AEDs in newly diagnosed patients with other generalized epilepsy syndromes is lacking.


The results of this evidence-based assessment provide guidelines for the prescription of AEDs for patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy and identify those seizure types and syndromes for which more evidence is necessary.

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