Inconsistent use of epilepsy medicine could increase risk of death

6/19/2008

NEW YORK According to a new study, epileptic patients who do not take their anti-seizure medications as prescribed could face serious or even fatal consequences, as reported by Reuters.

The study, which involved almost 34,000 patients whose records were logged into a Medicaid claims database over eight and a half years, found that when patients take their medications less than 80 percent of the time, they are three times more likely to die than when they stick to their medication plan. Moreover, not taking anti-seizure drugs also greatly increases emergency room visits and the chances of ending up in the hospital.

In addition, during periods of non-adherence, rates of emergency department visits were 50 percent higher, hospital admissions were up 86 percent, and fractures occurred at a 21 percent higher rate, than during periods of adherence.

“These results are concerning since some studies show about 30 percent to 50 percent of people with epilepsy do not take their medication regularly,” lead author Edward Faught, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a statement.

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