Background: Despite the introduction of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), the quality of life and therapeutic
response for patients with epilepsy remain unsatisfactory. In addition, whilst several antiepileptic drugs
(AEDs) have been approved and consequently marketed in recent years, little is known about their long-term
safety and tolerability. Availability of the newest AEDs, characterized by improved pharmacokinetic profiles, has
positively impacted the treatment approach for patients with partial seizures in clinical practice. However, the
main cause of treatment failure is still poor patient compliance due to the occurrence of adverse drug reactions
(ADRs) that lead to treatment withdrawal in about 25% of cases before achieving maximal efficacy, and is associated
with increasing health care costs.
Methods: In this Review, we conducted an online database search using Medline, PubMed, Embase, and the
Cochrane Online Library to review the available studies highlighting the clinical relevance of side effects, pharmacological
interactions, safety and tolerability of the newest AEDs: Brivaracetam (BRV), Cannabidiol (CBD),
Eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL), Lacosamide (LCM), and Perampanel (PER).
Results: The principal benefit of the newest AEDs, in addition to reduced frequency and seizure severity, is the
low number and severity of ADRs reported compared to more historic drugs.
Conclusion: Early detection of ADRs could lead to an improvement in patients’ quality of life, therefore it is
important to monitor ADRs and to adequately perform post marketing surveillance in the clinical practice setting.