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Risk factors for psychiatric and behavioural side effects (PBSEs) associated with anti-epileptic drug (AED) use.

PBSEs are a well-recognised complication in patients taking AEDs.1,2 In one review, overall, 16% of patients taking 2nd generation AEDs experienced PBSEs (mean duration of treatment ranged from 6–19 months).2

Understanding the increased risk of PBSEs with AEDs might help clinicians and patients with their treatment choice.

In a recent retrospective open-cohort study among 1173 patients with epilepsy receiving levetiracetam, a total of 14.1% experienced a psychiatric symptom or disorder within two years of the index prescription.3 Risk factors underlying these PBSEs were determined.3

*Multivariable logistic regression

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AED: anti-epileptic drug; PBSE: psychiatric and behavioural side effect.


  1. Brodie M, et al. Pharmacol Rev 2016;68:563–602.
  2. Weintraub D, et al. Epilepsy Behav 2007;10:105–110.
  3. Josephson CB, et al. JAMA Neurol 2019;76(4):440–446.


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PM-NG-LVT-WCNT-200004 Date of preparation: November 2020.