Temporal lobectomy is an effective treatment in selected patients with medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Postoperative antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment guidelines have not been established, and patients are often treated with polytherapy postoperatively. We prospectively randomized 40 patients undergoing temporal lobectomy to monotherapy with carbamazepine (CBZ, 20) or to continuation of their presurgical polytherapy (20) to assess the efficacy and safety of each regimen during the first year after operation. No significant differences between groups were noted with respect to seizure recurrence rate and type or time of recurrence. Patients in the polytherapy group had a 30% incidence of drug-related side effects as compared with only 10% in the CBZ group. These results suggest that after temporal lobectomy for intractable epilepsy, patients can be safely treated with CBZ monotherapy and that treatment with multiple AEDs is not necessary.