Effect of anticonvulsants on nocturnal sleep in epilepsy

Fabio Placidi, Marina Diomedi, Anna Scalise, Maria Grazia Marciani, Andrea Romigi, Gian Luigi Gigli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our objective was to determine, in three separate studies, the effects of controlled-release carbamazepine (CBZ-CR), lamotrigine (LTG), and gabapentin (GBP) on nocturnal sleep in epilepsy. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) control seizures and also modify hypnic structure. Despite widespread clinical use, their effects on sleep are not well known. PSG was performed in all three studies as follows: CBZ-CR: at baseline, after initial administration of CBZ-CR 400 mg, and after 1 month of CBZ-CR treatment (400 mg BID) in a sample of seven temporal lobe epileptic (TLE) patients. Results were compared with those of nine healthy volunteers; LTG: at baseline, after 3 months of stable treatment with LTG (300 mg/day); GBP: at baseline, after 3 months of stable treatment with GBP (1800 mg/day). Significant findings are as follows for each study. The acute administration of CBZ-CR increased number of stage shifts, reduced REM sleep, and increased REM sleep fragmentation. In the TLE group, these effects were almost completely reversed after chronic treatment. LTG increased REM sleep, reduced number of entries into REM sleep, decreased number of phase shifts, and decreased percentage of slow-wave sleep. GBP increased REM sleep percentage, increased mean duration of REM periods, reduced number of awakenings, and reduced stage 1 sleep percentage. We conclude that CBZ-CR disrupts REM sleep, but only during acute administration. LTG and GBP improve sleep stability while reducing seizures.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5 SUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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