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Carbamazepine lowers aggression: a review.

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Whiting Forensic Institute, Middletown, Connecticut 06457.


A small but growing number of reports document the antiaggressive effect of carbamazepine. Although it is supported by a small total number of patients studied with less than ideal rigor, the use of this medication as a means of reducing aggressive behavior is becoming an established clinical practice. The target diagnostic spectrum is broad, and the effect appears within days when it occurs. To promote both wider practice and further study, the authors summarize and briefly evaluate the reported investigations, single case studies, and articles related to the efficacy of carbamazepine for reducing aggression. Conceptual problems in aggression research, the relationships between epilepsy and aggression, possible mechanisms of action for this effect of carbamazepine, and practical clinical considerations are outlined.

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