Pharmacotherapy of idiopathic generalized epilepsies

Paolo Curatolo, Romina Moavero, Adriana Lo Castro, Caterina Cerminara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Idiopathic generalized epilepsies(IGE) represent about 20% of all epilepsies, are genetically determined and comprise several subgroups of syndromes. Although complete seizure control is achievable in about 80% of patients with IGE syndromes, a substantial group remains with inadequate control and unsatisfactory long-term outcome. Several new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been studied in children with IGE. Objectives and Methods: To review the rational drug choice for these patients, the PubMed database was searched with the keywords IGE and AEDs. Results: Older AEDs continue to play a major role in the treatment of IGE. Although the first line monotherapy is still with sodium valproate, new drugs like lamotrigine, levetiracetam and topiramate, are increasingly used in the treatment of IGE. Conclusions: Further research on evidence-based treatment of IGE with new AEDs is needed. New data from molecular genetics of IGE might have the potential to help clinicians choose the most appropriate antiepileptic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Idiopathic generalized epilepsy
  • Lamotrigine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Valproate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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