therapeutic drug monitoring
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Summary Using a battery of simple tests, psychomotor performance was assessed in 11 healthy subjects, 14 untreated epileptic patients and 66 epileptics on chronic anticonvulsant medication. Significant differences were found between controls and untreated patients for choice reaction time, card sorting and Simple Simon memory game. Treated patients performed less well than both untreated epileptics and controls in choice reaction time (p〈0.05; p〈0.001), card sorting (p〈0.01; p〈0.001), Simple Simon (p〈0.05; p〈0.001) and finger tapping (p〈0.05; p〈0.001). Patients with centrencephalic epilepsy were slower than those with discrete focal EEG abnormalities in reaction time and card sorting. Patients receiving treatment with carbamazepine, phenytoin or sodium valproate alone all performed similarly to each other and to those patients taking anticonvulsant polypharmacy. Monotherapy patients with potentially “toxic” plasma anticonvulsant concentrations did no worse than those within or below the “therapeutic” range. Both the disease and its treatment reduce psychomotor performance. All major anticonvulsants appear to cause a similar degree of impairment across a wide range of concentrations. The effect of chronic anticonvulsant medication on “quality of life” should not be neglected in the pursuit of perfect seizure control.
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