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August 1985

Reduction of Polypharmacy in Epileptic Patients

Author Affiliations

From the University of Toronto and Wellesley Hospital, Toronto. Dr Albright is a Fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(8):797-799. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04210090065017

• An attempt was made to reduce polypharmacy in 90 epileptic patients. All patients received their original drug regimen for at least six months and were followed up for a minimum of 16 months after reduction of polypharmacy. In 72 patients (80%), the average number of drugs administered was reduced from 2.75 to 1.49. In 39 of these (54%), a reduction was made to single drug therapy. Either no change or an improvement in seizure control was observed, and side effects decreased in many patients. In 18 patients (20%), medications could not be withdrawn. In nine of these, another drug was required for seizure control. In the remaining nine, more frequent seizures necessitated a return to the previous regimen. The critical variable predictng unsuccessful reduction of polypharmacy was the presence of multiple concurrent seizure types.

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