New drugs for epilepsy

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Seizure freedom with no side‐effects is the aim of treatment, and new antiepileptic drugs have not lived up to expectations; only a few patients with chronic epilepsy have been rendered seizure‐free. These treatments have side‐effects but their safety profile may be better than older alternatives, although chronic effects have not yet been established. This article reviews newly marketed antiepileptic drugs. It concentrates on shortcomings of current antiepileptic treatment and on the way drugs are developed. A new approach to treatment is long overdue. The development of rational antiepileptic treatments should be strongly encouraged. More clinically relevant paradigms need to be developed and incorporated into clinical trial programmes as these are presently biased in their designs towards regulatory issues. Curr Opin Neurol 11:141-148. © 1998 Rapid Science Ltd

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