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Epilepsy Res. 2011 Sep;96(1-2):81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 May 31.

Trends in the use of antiepileptic drugs in Taiwan from 2003 to 2007: a population-based national health insurance study.

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Department of Neurology, Cheng-Ching Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of prescription and use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for the treatment of epilepsy and other indications in a nationwide population using a prescription database.


AED prescription data were collected from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan for a 5-year period (2003-2007). Patients prescribed AEDs at least two times from 2003 to 2007 were selected for the study from a random sample that included approximately 600,000 people.


The prevalence of AED use (per 1000 inhabitants) increased from 12.6 in 2003 to 13.8 in 2007. The prevalence of newer AED use increased progressively from 1.0 in 2003 to 3.8 in 2007, but the prevalence of older AED use decreased during this time (11.6-10). Carbamazepine and valproic acid were the most common AEDs used. Among the newer generation of AEDs, gabapentin was the most frequently used. Newer AEDs were used primarily to treat pain disorders. The primary class of drugs used to treat epileptic disorders was older AEDs.


An increase in the use of AEDs was observed over a 5-year period in data collected from NHIRD. This might implicate the use of newer compounds at clinical practice not only increased in the treatment of epilepsy, but also in the conditions other than epilepsy especially pain disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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