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Patients′ preferences towards antiepileptic drug therapy following first attack of seizure

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Author(s): Chandramoulesswaran V | Dhanaraj M | Rangaraj R | Vengatesan A

Journal: Neurology India
ISSN 0028-3886

Volume: 54;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 387;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Antiepileptic drug | counseling | Generalized tonic clonic seizure

ABSTRACT
Background: Antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy following first unprovoked seizure is controversial. Aim: To study the patients′ preferences towards AED therapy following first unprovoked generalized tonic clonic seizure (GTCS). Design: Prospective cohorts with one year follow-up study. Setting: Government teaching hospital, a tertiary care center. Materials and Methods: Patient cohort included patients with first attack of unprovoked GTCS within 30 days of onset, aged between 18-60 years and with normal brain CT scan. Counseling was done for all the patients and the relatives regarding seizure recurrence, duration and adverse effects of AED therapy if preferred. Patients were encouraged to make their own decision in preferring or deferring AED with reasons. They were followed up for one year. Results: Of the 73 enrolled (54 males and 19 females) 39 (53%) preferred to go on AED therapy. The reasons for preferring AED therapy were; (a) fear of seizure recurrence, 21 (54%); (b) risky occupation, 14 (36%); and (c) fear of injury, 4 (10%). The reasons for deferring were: (a) fear of adverse effects of long-term AED therapy, 19 (56%) and (b) preferring to wait for the second attack, 15 (44%). All the patients were happy about being involved in the decision-making. Conclusion: Following first attack of unprovoked GTCS the decision regarding AED therapy may be taken by the patients and their family members after adequate counseling and such decisions have more relevance from their perspective.
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