How do newer medications compare to carbamazepine in the treatment of epileptic seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

All new medications have been tested as adjunctive therapy, and head-to-head comparisons of new drugs with carbamazepine have been conducted in Europe. In general, the new drugs have similar statistical efficacies but fewer adverse effects than carbamazepine; this puts the results of the SANAD trial somewhat in doubt, as the SANAD investigators did not find any important differences or trends for scores on the Adverse Events Profile among the drugs.

Of the new anticonvulsants, lamotrigine and topiramate appear to have broad spectrum of action in many seizure types. [48, 49] The American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society assembled a task force that reviewed the literature and provided evidence-based recommendations for monotherapy, adjunctive therapy, treatment of primary generalized seizures, treatment in children, and treatment of subgroups of new-onset and refractory epilepsy. [48, 49]


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