Prophylaxis of the epilepsies: should anti-epileptic drugs be used for preventing seizures after acute brain injury?

Acta Neurol Belg. 2005 Mar;105(1):5-13.


In many circumstances antiepileptic drugs are used in patients who have never presented any clinical epileptic seizures. These substances are administered on the assumption of a potential risk for the patients of developing acute or delayed chronic seizures after brain injuries such as trauma, stroke, hemorrages or even neurosurgical interventions. The aim of this paper is to propose therapeutic guidelines for the management of this prophylactic attitude in epilepsy based on basic research and clinical practice in the French community in Belgium. We will distinguish between the prevention of acute (early onset-provoked) seizures and a delayed truly post-lesional (unprovoked) epilepsy. Some therapeutic goals can be achieved under the former circumstances whereas in the latter situation we all agree for the absence of any coherent antiepileptic prophylactic behaviour.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Anticonvulsants