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Treatment-emergent psychiatric adverse events of antiepileptic drugs in epilepsy: how can we avoid them?

Author(s): Marco Mula

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) continue to be the basis of epilepsy treatment but benefits of seizure control need to be balanced with their psychotropic potential. In fact, some AEDs are widely used in psychiatric practice in the management of mood and anxiety disorders. However, treatment-emergent psychiatric adverse events of AEDs are more frequently reported in patients with epilepsy than in subjects with psychiatric disorders. Therefore, it can be argued that several factors need to be considered apart from the mechanism of action of the drug. This article discusses available literature regarding clinical and neurobiological variables implicated in the occurrence of psychiatric adverse events during treatment with AEDs in order to operate tailored treatment strategies in patients with epilepsy.


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