Suicidality in Epilepsy and Possible Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs

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Suicide is an important cause of premature death, and people with epilepsy are thought to be at increased risk for suicide. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) continue to be the mainstay of epilepsy treatment, but the benefits of seizure control must be balanced with their psychotropic potential. In recent years, suicidality has been recognized as a complication of several groups of drugs and, most recently, AEDs were implicated in an alert by the US Food and Drug Administration. The risk of suicidal ideation and behavior as side effects of AED treatment is low, and in people with epilepsy, such a risk must be balanced against the risk of not treating the seizures.

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