Utilization patterns of antiepileptic drugs among adult epileptic patients at a tertiary hospital in Oman



Dr Mohammed Al Za'abi, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al Khoud, P. O. Box 35, Postal code 123, Sultanate of Oman.

E-mail: zaabi@squ.edu.om



To describe utilization patterns of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) among adult epileptic patients at a tertiary hospital in Oman.


Data were collected retrospectively from January 2006 to December 2009. The study included all adult (>18 years) epileptic patients on AEDs and followed up at a neurology clinic at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Oman. All reported therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) requests for serum AED concentrations were also collected. Institutional ethical approval was sought and obtained.

Key findings

The study included a total of 372 patients with a mean age of 34 ± 15 years. Monotherapy AEDs accounted for 53% of the prescriptions, whereas polytherapy with two or three AED combinations accounted for 27% and 20% respectively. The most frequently prescribed AED was sodium valproate (27%) followed by carbamazepine (23%). The commonly prescribed AED combinations were sodium valproate with clonazepam (12%) followed by sodium valproate with lamotrigine (12%). Evaluation of 574 TDM requests for three AEDs showed that 57% of carbamazepine, 78% of phenytoin and 54% of valproic acid requests were either above or below the recommended therapeutic threshold. Most of these requests were ordered from the hospital's emergency department for suspected insufficient serum concentrations.


Antiepileptic drug monotherapy is still the most frequently employed therapeutic strategy in adult patients with epilepsy in keeping with the standard therapeutic guidelines. Sodium valproate is commonly used for different types of seizures reflecting its wide spectrum of anticonvulsant potential. Newer AED utilizations are becoming increasingly popular in our subjects particularly as add-on with other standard AEDs.