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Letters to the Editor
October 1999

Therapeutic Serum Levels for New Antiepileptic Drugs

Arch Neurol. 1999;56(10):1299-1300. doi:

The review article "New Antiepileptic Drugs" by Bourgeois1 was excellent and useful. However, I treat my patients with epilepsy by monitoring serum antiepileptic drug levels. It would be very useful if Dr Bourgeois provided therapeutic serum levels for the new antiepileptic drugs that he discussed.

Carbamazepine usually causes an initial period of vertigo when patients are first exposed to it, necessitating starting the therapy at a subtherapeutic dosage for the first week or two, until the patient is used to it. Then, the dosage can be increased to a therapeutic one, and the serum levels can be checked. Does this same problem exist when initiating treatment with oxcarbazepine?

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