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P N Patsalos. Published by Clarius Press, Guildford, £18.00 (soft cover), pp 175. ISBN 09542279-5-6
Over the past 15 years, 10 new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been licensed worldwide. This brings the overall number of available agents to treat the many types of seizures and syndromes to nearly a score. Although these modern AEDs tend to be less troublesome because they are responsible for fewer drug-drug interactions, there are still enough problems with many of them to require a detailed knowledge of their interaction profiles. This is particularly the case for general neurologists who are likely to field a trickle (or flood) of epilepsy cases in their everyday practice. The increasing incidence of epilepsy in the elderly, whose care is often complicated by polypharmacy, makes the launch of this manageable little book also particularly timely for general practitioners. Even the “cognoscenti” require access to a rapid resumé from time to time.
Philip Patsalos has focused on the production of a succinct “no nonsense” approach to AED interactions. The format is concise and easily accessible. The general introduction deals with the basic mechanisms of common interactions and provides guidance on how to predict their likely occurrence and, thereby, anticipate and avoid problems. The next three sections cover interactions among the different AEDs, interactions affecting AEDs and interactions caused by AEDs. Individual drugs are grouped usefully into therapeutic classes.
This publication provides an invaluable tool for the practising clinician. This is undoubtedly the first of many editions. If I had to cavil, I would like Professor Patsalos to provide me with an index in the next update. In these days of evidence-based medicine, it might be nice too to have access to the important source references in addition to the “selected reading” list. These modifications will increase further the value of this convenient text.
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