Patterns of antiepileptic drug use and seizure control among people with epilepsy in a suburban community in Southeast Nigeria
Background Epilepsy is characterized by episodic and unpredictable seizure recurrences which are often amenable to medical treatment. Simple and readily available medications can be used to control seizures in epilepsy. However, in many communities in developing countries seizure control among people living with epilepsy is still poor.
Method We assessed the patterns of antiepileptic drug use and seizure control among persons living with epilepsy in a suburban community in Southeast Nigeria found in a two phase cross-sectional study. Detailed information on epilepsy treatment, seizure control and patterns of antiepileptic drug use (AED) by those diagnosed with epilepsy was determined by use of a semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Further verification of the type of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) was done by drug inspection.
Result The total of 29 cases of active epilepsy comprising 16 (55.2%) males and 13 (44.8%) females were found. Those receiving AEDs at the time of survey were 7 (24.1%), 11(37.9%) who had previously used AEDs had stopped and the remaining 11 (37.9%) were AEDs naïve. Carbamazepine monotherapy was used by 57.1% (n=4) while phenobarbitone was used by 42.9% (n=3). The antiepileptic drugs were prescribed in all these cases by medical personnel. Over 82% of the persons with active epilepsy found were having more than one seizure per month.
Conclusion Active epilepsy was prevalent in this suburban community with only 24.1% (n=7) of them receiving treatment with AEDs. Seizure control was poor even among those receiving AEDs and carbamazepine monotherapy was most commonly used AEDs.