Use of antiepileptic drugs in a community-dwelling Dutch population

We compared the treatment policy for patients with epilepsy in six Dutch cities, comprising 302, 149 inhabitants, with the treatment policies of a secondary referral center (a university hospital) and tertiary referral centers (outpatient departmens of epilepsy centers). By comparing the prevalence of individuals receiving antiepileptic drugs in the six cities with the epidemiologic data for epilepsy in Rochester, Minnesota, we concluded that prescription data offer a suitable means by which to estimate the prevalence of epilepsy in a community. To compare prescriptions in cases of polytherapy, we normalized data by using defined daily doses published by the WHO Collaborating Center for Drugs Statistics Methodology and the Nordic Council on Medicines and concluded that the defined daily doses of antiepileptic drugs should be further elaborated. There is a need to obtain complete dose-response curves of equivalent antiepileptic drugs in humans. The trend of drugs use found in the six cities, theuniversity hospital, and the epilepsy centers is, however, in accord with the expectations regarding primary, secondary, and tertiary referral centers.

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