Use of antiepileptic drugs in patients with kidney disease

Semin Dial. 2006 Sep-Oct;19(5):408-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2006.00195.x.


The number of medications used to treat different types of seizures has increased over the last 10-15 years. Most of the newer antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are likely to be unfamiliar to many nephrologists. For both the older and newer AEDs, basic pharmacokinetic information, recommendations for drug dosing in patients with reduced kidney function or who are on dialysis, and adverse renal and fluid-electrolyte effects are reviewed. Newer AEDs are less likely to have significant drug-drug interactions than older agents, but are more likely to need dosage adjustment in patients with reduced kidney function. The most common renal toxicities of these drugs include metabolic acidosis, hyponatremia, and nephrolithiasis; interstitial nephritis and other adverse effects are less common. Little is known about the clearance of most of the newer AEDs with high-efficiency hemodialyzers or with peritoneal dialysis. Monitoring of drug levels when available, careful clinical assessment of patients taking AEDs, and close collaboration with neurologists is essential to the management of patients taking AEDs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*


  • Anticonvulsants