New antiepileptic drug therapies.Neurol Clin. 2002 Nov; 20(4):1163-82.NC
The introduction of these new antiepileptic drugs, from felbamate to levetiracetam, raised hope of control of epilepsy with fewer adverse effects and improved quality of life. Unfortunately, many patients continue to experience refractory epilepsy despite the use of these new agents, and dose-related adverse effects and idiosyncratic reactions continue to be problematic. A recent report describes six new compounds in preclinical development, and five in clinical trials . As the number of available, effective, but imperfect antiepileptic drugs increases, many challenges remain. These include: choosing the drug appropriate for the epileptic syndrome, assessing accurately the range of a drug's adverse effects in an individual patient, and considering carefully the drug's interactions in combination drug therapy. In considering drug combinations, differing mechanisms of drug action and favorable pharmacodynamic interactions (an area requiring additional studies) are of importance. Clinicians caring for children who have epilepsy anticipate further advances in the pharmacogenetics and molecular pathophysiology of epilepsy, leading to individually tailored, effective, and safe therapy.