Epilepsy: Treatment and Management

Hien Ha, PharmD, BCPs; Renee Bellanger, PharmD, BCnsP


US Pharmacist. 2013;38(1):35-39. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Epilepsy is a disorder comprising a collection of seizures that differ in cause, symptoms, severity, and treatment. Seizures are assigned to one of two major categories: partial or generalized. Epilepsy cases can involve more than one type of seizure. Epilepsy may be classified into etiologic types and then further defined by presenting features. Drug therapy is based on type of seizure, age, gender, comorbidities, adverse-effect potential, drug interactions, and cost. Once treatment is initiated, about 60% of patients achieve adequate seizure control with monotherapy. Monitoring of serum concentrations is beneficial when suspecting toxicity, assessing medication adherence, or making dose adjustments. Pharmacists can improve patient outcomes through dose recommendations, drug interaction surveillance, adherence counseling, and adverse-effect monitoring.


Commonly referred to as seizure disorder, epilepsy is a disorder comprising a collection of seizures that differ in regard to cause, symptoms, severity, and treatment.[1] Approximately 2 million people in the United States have epilepsy, and it is estimated that about 140,000 people develop the disorder every year.[2] Despite advances in technology and treatment, epilepsy still remains a huge economic burden, with an estimated health care cost of $2.7 billion per year.[3]