Objective: The aim of this hospital-based study is to get an insight into the efficacy and tolerability of antiepileptic drugs (AED) in Omani epileptic patients. Patients and methods: All Omani patients (aged 14 years and above) suffering from epileptic seizures for at least 2 years and followed-up by board-certified neurologists in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) were evaluated. The treatment retention rate since first visit at SQUH and over the last 2 years was used as primary efficacy measure of AED therapy. Change in seizure-frequency and side effect profiles were also assessed. Results: In this population of 203 confirmed epileptic patients, generalized tonic-clonic (40%) and partial seizures (39%) were most commonly observed, idiopathic/cryptogenic origin (81%) being the most frequent encountered origin. Sixty one percent of the patients were controlled with an AED in monotherapy and overall 34% of patients could be successfully maintained on monotherapy during the whole follow-up period at SQUH (median 6 years). The treatment retention rates for carbamazepine (CBZ) at a daily dose of 400-600 mg, sodium valproate (VPA) at a daily dose of 500-1000 mg, and phenytoin (PHT) at a daily dose of 300 mg, in monotherapy over the total follow-up period was 51, 50, and 21%, respectively. In contrast, over the last 2 years these rates were highest for VPA (91%) followed by CBZ (83%) and PHT (73%). Adverse drug reactions were recorded in 67% of patients, and were most commonly encountered with VPA. Conclusions: Despite a higher adverse effect profile for VPA, long-term treatment with CBZ and VPA appeared to be equally effective in terms of treatment retention rates and seizure control.
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