Clinical Edge

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Antiepileptic Drug Treatment for Elderly Examined

Epilepsia; ePub 2017 Feb 7; Martin, et al

Monotherapy is common across all racial/ethnic groups of older adults with new-onset epilepsy, older antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are commonly prescribed, and treatment is frequently delayed, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted retrospective analyses of 2008–2010 Medicare administrative claims for a 5% random sample of beneficiaries augmented for minority representation. They found:

  • Over 1 year of follow-up, 79.6% of 3,706 new epilepsy cases had 1 AED only (77.89% of whites vs 89% of American Indian/Alaska Native [AI/AN]).
  • Quality Indicators of Epilepsy Treatment 6 (QUIET 6) concordance was 94.7% (93.9% for whites to 97.3% of AI/AN).
  • Only 50% received prompt AED therapy (49.6% whites to 53.9% AI/AN).
  • Race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with AED patterns, monotherapy use, or prompt treatment.

Citation:

Martin RC, Faught E, Szaflarski JP, et al. What does the U.S. Medicare administrative claims database tell us about initial antiepileptic drug treatment for older adults with new-onset epilepsy? [Published online ahead of print February 7, 2017]. Epilepsia. doi:10.1111/epi.13675.