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Epilepsia. 2006;47 Suppl 1:31-4.

Monitoring for adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs.

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Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Best practices for monitoring the adverse effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have not been carefully studied. Routine blood and urine studies do not appear to be of value in asymptomatic patients to avoid severe acute reactions. Subtle chronic AED side effects exist but algorithms for their detection and treatment are not well developed. Randomized clinical trials do not support the value of routine AED serum levels to improve compliance, seizure control, or avoid side effects. Simple screening procedures for neurotoxicity have not been developed. Some personal suggestions are offered.

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