Factors influencing compliance with antiepileptic drug regimes

Seizure. 1997 Apr;6(2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/s1059-1311(97)80060-x.


Failure to comply with drug regimes is prevalent amongst patients with epilepsy and the consequence of this is often an increased risk of further seizures. This paper describes the level of, and influences upon, non-compliance with antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment. A postal questionnaire was sent to an unselected, community-based population of patients with epilepsy. This instrument included questions about patients' AED treatment, any related side-effects, and AED-taking behaviour. Univariate analysis showed that factors associated with compliance were patient age, how important patients felt it was to take drugs as prescribed, whether patients reported feelings of stigma, whether on mono- or polytherapy, whether they were experiencing any side-effects because of AEDs, whether patients had a regular arrangement to see their GP about epilepsy and how easy they found their GP to talk to. Multivariate analysis showed that the strongest predictors of non-compliance were feeling it was not very or not at all important to take AEDs as prescribed, being a teenager, being aged under 60 and being on monotherapy. Further implementation of educational programmes for people with epilepsy would help to improve levels of compliance thereby reducing the risk of unnecessary seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • England
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance* / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Sick Role


  • Anticonvulsants