Non-monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants and epilepsy: a review

Epilepsia. 1978 Jun;19(3):241-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1978.tb04486.x.


The literature dealing with the convulsant effects of the antidepressant drugs of the non-monoamine oxidase inhibitor variety is reviews. It is concluded that most of these drugs do lower the seizure threshold and may precipitate seizures even at normal therapeutic doses. The pathophysiology of antidepressant-induced seizures is discussed, and attention is drawn to biochemical differences in those antideprssants that have the least epileptogenic potential or may even be anticonvulsant. The clinical difficulties regarding administration of antidepressant drugs to epileptic patients are mentioned, and some practical advice is offered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / blood
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / pharmacology
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Viloxazine / adverse effects


  • Amines
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Viloxazine
  • Imipramine