Newer and older antiepileptic drug use in Southern Italy: A population-based study during the years 2003-2005

Marianna Alacqua, Gianluca Trifirò, Edoardo Spina, Salvatore Moretti, Daniele Ugo Tari, P. Bramanti, Achille P. Caputi, Vincenzo Arcoraci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To analyse the prescribing pattern of newer and older antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during the years 2003-2005. Methods: From the Caserta-1 Local Health Service database, 93 general practitioners (GPs) were recruited. Among 127,389 individuals aged ≥15 years registered in the lists of these GPs, we selected patients who received at least one AED prescription during the study period. Use of newer and older AEDs was calculated as 1-year prevalence and incidence as well as defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants/day. Sub-analyses by gender, age and indication of use were performed. Results: Overall, prevalence and incidence of use remained stable for older AEDs, while it strongly increased for newer AEDs. In particular, 25% increase of incident treatments with newer AED have been reported from 2004 to 2005. The total volume of AED use remained stable during the study years, despite the proportion of newer AEDs slightly increased (from 24.6% in 2003 to 30.1% in 2005). The main indication of use was epileptic disorders for older AEDs (56% of users), and neuropathic pain for newer AEDs (69%). Conclusions: Prevalence and incidence of use of newer AED strongly increased during the years 2003-2005 in a general practice of Southern Italy. Significant differences are shown in the prescribing pattern of newer and older medications: older AEDs are mainly used in the treatment of epileptic disorders, while newer compounds are preferred for conditions other than epilepsy, in particular neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Drug consumption
  • Incidence
  • Indication of use
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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