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Effectiveness and Safety of Antiepileptic Medications in Patients With Epilepsy [Internet]

Effectiveness and Safety of Antiepileptic Medications in Patients With Epilepsy [Internet]

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)

Version: December 2011

Introduction

Seizures are single or paroxysmal events arising from abnormal, excessive, hypersynchronous discharges from central nervous system neurons, and range in severity from symptoms not readily apparent to an observer to dramatic convulsions. Epilepsy describes a clinical phenomenon in which a person has recurrent seizures due to a chronic, underlying process.,

Methods

The topic for this report was nominated via a public process. The Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) drafted a topic refinement document with proposed Key Questions and solicited input from a panel of key informants on the questions and scope of the report. The public was then invited to comment on the topic refinement document and Key Questions. After a review of the public commentary, the Key Questions were finalized by the EPC and approved by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Executive Summary

Epilepsy is a clinical phenomenon in which a person has recurrent seizures due to a chronic underlying process., Approximately 1 to 3 percent of people in the United States will develop epilepsy over the course of their lives. Epilepsy begins most commonly during the first 9 years of life, plateaus over the next 30 years, dips in patients 40 to 59 years of age, and then rises again in the elderly.,,Seizures in epilepsy can result in status epilepticus, a life-threatening unrelenting seizure, or can result in car accidents or falls that can lead to morbidity or mortality. In addition, uncontrolled seizures can result in patients losing their jobs or driving privileges.,, The main three types of seizures in patients with epilepsy include partial, generalized, and unclassified. There are several distinct subtypes of seizures.

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