Mental health

Standard antiepileptic drugs (phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid) for management of convulsive epilepsy in adults and children

Question 7: For adults and children with convulsive epilepsy, which standard antiepileptic drugs (phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid) when compared to placebo/a comparator produce benefits/harm in the specified outcomes?

Management of epilepsy

  • Population: adults and children with convulsive epilepsy
  • Interventions:
    • phenobarbital
    • phenytoin
    • carbamazepine
    • valproic acid
  • Comparison:
    • placebo
    • one intervention versus other
  • Outcomes:
    • seizure recurrence
    • mortality
    • adverse events
    • quality of life.

Recommendation(s)

Monotherapy with any of the standard antiepileptic drugs (carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and valproic acid) should be offered to children and adults with convulsive epilepsy. Given the acquisition costs, phenobarbital should be offered as a first option if availability can be assured. If available, carbamazepine should be offered to children and adults with partial onset seizures.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG

Evidence profile

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