Objective To ascertain effectiveness and adverse effects of anti epileptic drugs (AED) using the UKAED register (www.ukaed.info).
Methods Patients on Carbamazepine (CBZ) n=91, Valproate (VPA) n=61, Lamotrigine (LTG) n=105, Levetiracetam (LEV) n=72, and healthy control subjects on no medication (CTR) n=51 anonymously provided information on seizure frequency and completed the Liverpool Adverse Event Profile (LAEP).
Results Seizure free rates were similar (CBZ/VPA/LTG/LEV=0.49/0.61/0.54/0.47). Mean LAEPscores were significantly higher in patients than in control subjects (CBZ/VPA/LTG/LEV/CTRL=41.27/42.21/39.66/39.86/43.07/29.69). Tiredness (77%), memory problems (62%), sleepiness (54%), difficulty concentrating (51%), nervousness (50%), restlessness (45%), dizziness (43%), unsteadiness (40%), depression (40%), feeling of anger (37%), shaky hands (34%) were all significantly more frequent in patients than in control subjects. Furthermore, anger and unsteadiness were significantly more frequent in LEV (54%,51%), shaky hands were significantly more frequent in VPA (46%) and depression was significantly more frequent in CBZ (54%) than in the other three AED. Patients with depression and active epilepsy had significantly higher meanLAEP scores.
Conclusion The efficacy was similar, adverse effects were extremely common. Signifcant associations were found for anger and unsteadiness and LEV, for shaky hands and VPA and depression and CBZ.