Improvement in seizure control and quality of life in medically refractory epilepsy patients converted from polypharmacy to monotherapy.
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In a retrospective chart review, we identified 35 patients with medically refractory epilepsy (MRE) who had been converted from polypharmacy to monotherapy and maintained on monotherapy for at least 12 months. None of the 35 patients had worsening of their seizure frequency after the conversion to monotherapy. Fourteen of the 35 patients (40%) became seizure-free. Nine of 35 patients (26%) had a 50% reduction in seizure frequency. Five of 35 patients (14%) had a 75% reduction in seizure frequency. Twenty-eight (80%) of 35 patients participated in a quality-of-life questionnaire. Quality of life was rated as better on monotherapy as compared with polypharmacy in a number of domains: memory loss, concern over medication long-term effects, difficulty in taking the medications, trouble with leisure time activities, and overall state of health. This improvement reached statistical significance. Conversion to monotherapy in patients with MRE may be successful in achieving a reduction in seizure frequency and an improvement in quality-of-life parameters. A prospective, randomized trial is necessary to validate these findings.