October 2, 2020

Polytherapy, Improved Medication Adherence Reduce Risk for SUDEP in Swedish Cohort

Article, originally posted on Healio

Polytherapy, especially the use of three or more antiepileptic drugs, correlated with a substantially decreased risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, according to findings from a nationwide case-control study conducted in Sweden.

The findings, which were published in Neurology, also demonstrated a link between statin use and a decreased risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

“There is an urgent need to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP),” the researchers wrote. “Risk factors related to drug treatment may represent opportunities for prevention.”

Olafur Sveinsson MD, PhD, of the departments of neurology and clinical neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues performed the population-based, case-control study to determine the relationship between AEDs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and “other potentially relevant drugs” and SUDEP risk.

“These results provide support for the importance of medication adherence and intensified AED treatment for patients with poorly controlled GTCS in the efforts to reduce SUDEP risks and suggest that comedication with statins may reduce risks,” Sveinsson and colleagues wrote.

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