Some psychotic disorders may be induced by drugs designed to combat effects of epilepsy
Today Brain publishes a new study indicating that antiepileptic drugs designed to reduce seizures, may also induce psychotic disorders in some patients.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders. People with epilepsy have increased vulnerability to psychiatric problems.
However, it is also possible that the drugs used by patients to control their seizures may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in certain people.
To test this possibility, researchers screened the medical records of 2630 patients with epilepsy and identified 98 (3.7%) with psychotic disorders. Among these, 14 (14.3%) were diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder that had been triggered by their antiepileptic drugs. Ten of the patients in the antiepileptic drug-induced psychosis group were female, and ten had a type of epilepsy called temporal lobe epilepsy.
The researchers determined that, among epilepsy patients with psychotic disorders, one in seven could potentially be attributed to antiepileptic drugs. Women and those with temporal lobe epilepsy seem to be more likely to develop psychological problems in response to antiepileptic medication.
More information: Ziyi Chen et al, Psychotic disorders induced by antiepileptic drugs in people with epilepsy, Brain (2016). DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww196