Epilepsy is controllable: Seizure... - Epilepsy South Af...

Epilepsy South Africa
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Epilepsy is controllable


Seizure recurrences are frequent among HIV patients . Long-term anti-epileptic therapy needs to be considered, even after a single seizure. Phenytoin has been the most widely prescribed anti-epileptic drug for these patients, but a significant number of patients are likely to experience undesirable side-effects, including skin rashes, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and hepatic dysfunction. Phenobarbitone and valproate are satisfactory alternatives in this situation.

Patients with mass lesions may experience seizure recurrence despite adequate plasma concentrations of anti-epileptic drug.3 As patients with HIV disease are likely to take long-term anti-epileptic medication, this may lead to drug interactions as a result of hepatic enzyme induction. Anti-epileptic drugs may also reduce the plasma concentrations of the protease inhibitors and so reduce their antiviral efficacy

Seizures are frequently associated with neurological manifestations of HIV infection. Correct diagnosis of underlying causes and their treatment along with anticonvulsant therapy is required for proper management. Proper control of seizures will help to improve the quality of life in these patients who are already suffering from a dreaded disease.

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