Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, occurring
due to uncontrolled neuronal discharge. There are about 70 million cases of
epilepsy all over the world, and out of those, approximately 12 million cases
are lodged in India; which is about one-sixth of the global load 1. There are
over 20 anti-epileptic drugs and 2 implantable anti-epileptic devices available
commercially in the United States 2. This list is extensive and non-inclusive
of the extended release formulations 3, the newer vagus nerve stimulation
technology 4, and dietary therapies modifications.
Among the currently available anti-epileptic drugs
(AED), conventional AEDs include Phenytoin, Phenobarbital, Carbamazepine,
Valproic acid, Ethosuximide, Trimethadione and newer AEDs include Vigabatrin, Tiagabine,
Gabapentin, Topiramate, Zonesamide, Lamotrigine, Felbamate, Levetiracetam,
The increasing possible treatments for epilepsy are a
boon for patients. A number
of newer anti-epileptic drugs have been developed in the last few years to
improve the treatment outcomes in epilepsy. They will provide more options to
achieve a good outcome and better quality of life and can be challenging to the
of the newer AEDs have been found to be better than the conventional AEDs.
However, the “2004 American Academy of Neurology report” 6 suggested that newer
generation AEDs have almost same efficacy but better tolerability than
Epilepsy is a social stigma 7 as
epileptic patients face many psychosocial problems (like anxiety, difficulty in
driving, unemployment) that can deteriorate the HR-QOL. Increasing awareness
about it has led to the need to quantify HR-QOL in epileptic patients. So,
appropriate AED use, along with monitoring of adverse effects, and assessment
of HR-QOL as an outcome measure are important in the management of epilepsy.
Demographic characters, seizure frequency,
and extended period of the disease are related with poor HR-QOL 8. There are lesser studies examining the
impact of AED pharmacotherapy on HR-QOL 9.
Keeping this rationale in mind we decided
to go for this particular research study which will not only inform us
regarding the AEDs prescribed conventional or newer, and will give us a
baseline data on the quality of life in such patients.