Antiepileptic drugs linked to high death risk in Alzheimer's patients
London- Researchers have claimed that the use of antiepileptic drugs is associated with a higher risk of death among people with Alzheimer's disease.
Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are the main type of treatment for most people with epilepsy that aims to stop seizures.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, showed that the mortality risk increased considerably during the first three months of treatment with antiepileptic drugs.
The increased risk remained after controlling for comorbidities, sociodemographic factors and the use of other drugs. However, it is possible that the reasons for initiating an antiepileptic partially explain the results and, therefore, the findings should be confirmed in further studies.
According to the authors from University of Eastern Finland, death risk was higher among users of older antiepileptic drugs in comparison to users of newer antiepileptics.
The mortality risk was compared between antiepileptic drug users and matched non-users with Alzheimer's disease.
The findings showed that the increased risk remained after controlling for comorbidities, sociodemographic factors and the use of other drugs.
These initial findings are concerning, as people with Alzheimer's disease used antiepileptic drugs more frequently than people without the disease, and the use of older antiepileptics is more common among them, said the researchers.
The results also highlight caution in prescribing these drugs for indications other than epilepsy in the vulnerable group.
These drugs are also frequently used for other indications, including neuropathic pain and behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, although antiepileptics are not officially indicated for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.