New antiepileptic drug safety information is not transmitted systematically and accepted by U.S. neurologists

Sarah G. Bell, Martha Matsumoto, Susan J. Shaw, Jason Brandt, Gregory L. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We surveyed U.S. neurologists in order to evaluate their knowledge of, and sources for, recent FDA safety warnings regarding antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and whether they incorporate this information into their practices. Survey respondents (N=505) were predominantly board-certified American Academy of Neurology members. Approximately 20% of respondent neurologists were not aware of warnings about four drug safety risks: suicidality with newer AEDs, increased birth defect risks from in utero divalproex exposure, impaired cognitive development from in utero divalproex exposure, and the requirement of haplotype screening in patients of Asian descent starting carbamazepine. Most respondents were aware of a recommendation for haplotype screening, yet did not routinely perform the safety screening, and 18 reported patients that had hypersensitivity reactions to carbamazepine. Respondents learned about drug safety risks from varied sources; only notifications from specialty organizations were associated with accurate knowledge of drug safety warnings. Most surveyed neurologists would prefer implementing "a formal warning process via specialty organizations" with e-mails of updated product insert warnings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Error in medicine
  • Methods of education
  • Patient safety
  • Professional conduct and ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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