Antiepileptic drugs with mood stabilizing properties and their relation with psychotropic drug use in institutionalized epilepsy patients with intellectual disability

C. L. F. Leunissen, N. M. de la Parra*, I. Y. Tan, Th W. Rentmeester, C.I. Vader, M. J. B. M. Veendrick-Meekes, A. P. Aldenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

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A large number of patients with epilepsy and intellectual disability take medication, amongst which antiepileptic and psychotropic drugs, often simultaneously. Certain antiepileptic drugs have mood-stabilizing properties, e.g. carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of these mood-stabilizers is associated with a different use of psychotropic drugs in a population of institutionalized epilepsy patients with intellectual disability. We performed a retrospective, cohort study of adults with intellectual disability and epilepsy at the long-stay department of an epilepsy centre in The Netherlands. 246 residents were included. In patients using lamotrigine we found a statistically significant lower use of antidepressants. We also found significant less prescriptions of anxiolytics in patients using AEDs with mood-stabilizing properties (carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine). When considering the effect of gender, we found that male patients took significantly more antipsychotics. Most important, we found an inverse relation between the drug load of carbamazepine and/or valproic acid and/or lamotrigine and the use of psychotropic drugs. In a population of institutionalized epilepsy patients with intellectual disability, higher drug loads of mood-stabilizing antiepileptic drugs correspond with less use of psychotropic drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2660-2668
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Mood-stabilizing antiepileptic drugs
  • Psychotropic drug use
  • Intellectual disability
  • Epilepsy
  • PDD/DDD ratio
  • Drug load

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