Some Psychotic Disorders May Be Induced by Drugs Designed to Combat Effects of Epilepsy

OXFORD, United Kingdom -- August 8, 2016 -- Antiepileptic drugs may induce psychotic disorders in some patients, according to a study published in the journal Brain.

People with epilepsy have increased vulnerability to psychiatric problems. However, it is also possible that the drugs used by patients to control their seizures may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in certain people.

To test this possibility, Ziyi Chen, MD, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues screened the medical records of 2,630 patients with epilepsy and identified 98 (3.7%) with psychotic disorders. Among these, 14 (14.3%) were diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder that had been triggered by their antiepileptic drugs.

Ten of the patients in the antiepileptic drug-induced psychosis group were female, and 10 had temporal lobe epilepsy.

The researchers determined that, among patients with epilepsy with psychotic disorders, 1 in 7 could potentially be attributed to antiepileptic drugs.

Women and those with temporal lobe epilepsy seem to be more likely to develop psychological problems in response to antiepileptic medication.

SOURCE: Oxford University Press
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