Antiepileptics for post-traumatic seizure prophylaxis after traumatic brain injury

Alexander G. Chartrain, Kurt Yaeger, Rui Feng, Marios S. Themistocleous, Neha S. Dangayach, Konstantinos Margetis, Zachary L. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health concern plagued by high rates of mortality and significant long-term disability in many survivors. Post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are not uncommon following TBI, both in the early (within 7 days post-injury) and late (after 7 days post-injury) period. Due to the potential of PTS to exacerbate secondary injury following TBI and the possibility of developing post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), the medical community has explored preventative treatment strategies. Prophylactic antiepileptic drug (AED) administration has been proposed as a measure to reduce the incidence of PTS and the ultimate development of PTE in TBI patients. In this topical review, we discuss the pathophysiologic mechanisms of early and late PTS and the development of PTE following TBI, the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of AEDs commonly used to prevent post-traumatic seizures, and summarize the available clinical evidence for employing AEDs for seizure prophylaxis after TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6428-6441
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number42
StatePublished - 2017


  • Antiepileptic drug (AED)
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE)
  • Post-traumatic seizure
  • Prophylaxis
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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