Extended-release formulations: simplifying strategies in the management of antiepileptic drug therapy.
Advances in our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of seizure disorders have transformed the management of epilepsy. As the number of antiepileptic drugs and their formulations increase, so do the expectations of therapy. Once limited to attaining complete control of seizures, epilepsy management now strives to enable patients to lead lifestyles consistent with their own capabilities. Extended-release antiepileptic drug formulations can help achieve the primary treatment goals for many patients with epilepsy: preventing occurrence of seizures and preventing or reducing side effects. The dosing flexibility and consistency of serum levels (without marked peak-to-trough fluctuations) conferred by extended-release formulations help achieve these goals. These same attributes of extended-release formulations may also improve compliance, quality of life, and patient satisfaction with treatment.