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Monitoring antiepileptic drug therapy with serum level measurements

Frank J E Vajda
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (10): 581.
Published online: 19 November 2007

We treat patients, not levels

The goal of therapy with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is to prevent all seizures, using drugs that produce minimal side effects. Success in achieving this goal must be assessed clinically. Routine ordering of tests to measure AED levels is misguided, given that the tests are costly and often unnecessary.1

  • Frank J E Vajda1,2

  • 1 Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

I am the Director of the Australian Pregnancy Register of Antiepileptic Drugs, a research initiative supported by the Epilepsy Society of Australia, a National Health and Medical Research Council linkage grant, and all the pharmaceutical companies involved in the anticonvulsant field. These companies include GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-Cilag, Mayne, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi and UCB. I have received honoraria for speaking at or attending international meetings to present data relating to the Register and for attending educational meetings in Australia.

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