oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Therapeutic uses of antiepileptic drugs in non-epileptic disorders : review

Volume 77, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



The ability of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) to restore normal neuronal activity following irregular nerve signalling has led to their off-label use for many disorders. The challenge for evidence-based practice is to determine when AEDs are a genuine therapeutic option, since off-label use rarely provides the same quality of safety and efficacy data routinely expected from clinical trials for registered indications. At the outset, this article delineates the proposed mechanisms by which AEDs stabilise brain functioning, which provides a rationale for their use in ''non-registered'' indications. Following this, evidence of therapeutic value in various non-epileptic disorders is summarised. The discussion concludes with adverse effects, which limit the use of AEDs in practice.

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