CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · International Journal of Epilepsy 2020; 06(01): 24-29
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1712074
Original Article

Antiepileptic Drugs, Polypharmacy, and Quality of Life in People Living with Epilepsy Managed in General Practice

Samuel Moran
1  John Richards Centre, La Trobe Rural Health School, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
2  Locum Medical Practitioner, Victoria, Australia
,
Chris Peterson
3  College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
4  Epilepsy Foundation, Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
,
Irene Blackberry
1  John Richards Centre, La Trobe Rural Health School, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
,
Mark Cook
5  Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
6  Department of Neurology, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
,
Christine Walker
4  Epilepsy Foundation, Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
7  Chronic Illness Alliance Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia
,
John Furler
8  Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
,
Graeme Shears
4  Epilepsy Foundation, Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia
,
Loretta Piccenna
5  Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
9  Department of Neuroscience, Monash University, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was funded by UCB Pharma.

Abstract

Objective Recently, instances of general practitioners (GPs) prescribing antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have increased. We aimed to investigate the use of AEDs in a community sample of people with epilepsy and the effect on quality of life (QoL).

Methods Responses from the Australian Epilepsy Longitudinal Study (AELS), Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS), and Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) data were used. Linear regression was used to investigate the relationship between the numbers of AEDs and QoL.

Results Fifty people with epilepsy were prescribed an average of two AEDs. The most common were lamotrigine, sodium valproate, and levetiracetam. Eighty-two percent were prescribed medications from two or more categories of medications. A lower QoL at wave 2 of the AELS was significantly associated with a higher number of AEDs.

Conclusion Given the high number of people with epilepsy being cared for in general practice, GPs must understand the risks and benefits of epilepsy monotherapy, polytherapy, and polypharmacy.



Publication History

Publication Date:
04 June 2020 (online)

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