BACKGROUND: Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been used for the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological disorders since the late 19th century. There are currently several classes of AEDs available for epilepsy management, many of which are also used to treat migraines, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and neuropathic pain. Because of their molecular and mechanistic diversity, as well as the potential for drug-drug interactions, AEDs are prescribed and monitored in a highly personalized manner. CONTENT: This review provides a general overview of the use of AEDs with a focus on the role of therapeutic drug monitoring. Discussed topics include mechanisms of action, guidelines on the clinical applications of AEDs, clinical tests available for AED monitoring, and genetic factors known to affect AED efficacy. SUMMARY: Implementation of AED therapies is highly individualized, with many patient-specific factors considered for drug and dosage selection. Both therapeutic efficacy and target blood concentrations must be established for each patient to achieve seizure mitigation or cessation. The use of an AED with any additional drug, including other AEDs, requires an evaluation of potential drug-drug interactions. Furthermore, AEDs are commonly used for nonepilepsy indications, often in off-label administration to treat neurological or psychiatric disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas