Antiepileptic drug selection and adverse effects: an overview

Can J Neurol Sci. 1994 Aug;21(3):S3-6. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100040749.


In choosing an antiepileptic drug, not only efficacy but also potential adverse effects have to be considered. Adverse effects that have to be taken into account include acute and chronic systemic toxicity, cognitive side effects, and teratogenesis. Acute toxicity may be dose-related, allergic or an idiosyncratic reaction. Chronic toxicity may involve the nervous system or other organs. In determining the role of new antiepileptic drugs such as lamotrigine, vigabatrin, felbamate, and gabapentin a proper evaluation of both efficacy and adverse effects is required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anticonvulsants