Newer antiepileptic drugs: Gabapentin, lamotrigine, felbamate, topiramate and fosphenytoin

William J. Curry, David L. Kulling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Twenty-five to 40 percent of patients with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite optimal treatment with traditional antiepileptic drugs. Treatment with standard anticonvulsants such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid and phenobarbital is often complicated by side effects and by failure to adequately control seizures. Up to 61 percent of patients with seizures report having side effects with antiepileptic drugs. After a 15- year hiatus since the last new antiepileptic drug was marketed, five new drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the control of seizures. Three of these, gabapentin, lamotrigine and topiramate, are approved for use in adults with partial seizures with or without generalization. Felbamate is approved for the above indication and also for use in children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare childhood seizure disorder. Felbamate and lamotrigine have the potential of significant side effects and should be prescribed by physicians experienced in managing patients with complicated epilepsy. Fosphenytoin is a parenteral prodrug of phenytoin that is more tolerable than parenteral phenytoin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice


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