Rates and predictors of patient-reported cognitive side effects of antiepileptic drugs: An extended follow-up

Asif Javed, Brian Cohen, Kamil Detyniecki, Lawrence J. Hirsch, Alexander Legge, Baibing Chen, Carl Bazil, Kenneth Kato, Richard Buchsbaum, Hyunmi Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose Impact of adverse effects of antiepileptic medications (AEDs) such as cognitive side effects (CSEs) on quality of life can be significant. Here we provide an extended follow-up to our earlier study to investigate the predictors of cognitive side effects (CSEs) and relative frequency of CSEs among all commonly used AEDs. Methods In this retrospective study, medical records of 2860 adult outpatients with epilepsy seen at our center over a 12-year period who had taken one or more AEDs were examined. Results Of 2860 patients, 15% had intolerable CSEs attributed to at least one AED. On multiple logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of intolerable CSEs were lack of intellectual disability and polytherapy. In polytherapy, we found that intolerable CSEs were most commonly seen with topiramate (22.8% of 281 patients), significantly more than with almost all other AEDs. This was true in monotherapy as well, with significantly more intolerable CSEs occurring with topiramate (18.5% of 54 patients) than with gabapentin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam. AEDs with consistently low rates of ICSEs included gabapentin, pregabalin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam and carbamazepine. Conclusion These data can help facilitate selection of AEDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Cognition
  • Side effect
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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