A national survey of 1023 people with epilepsy in the US assessed their attitudes about their therapies. Subjects were drawn from responders to a previous national survey of US households or from those who phoned the Epilepsy Foundation. Overall response rate was 49%. Approximately 90% of the respondents were taking medications for their epilepsy. Only 56% were on monotherapy, while 26% were taking two, 6% three, and 2% four medications. Only 68% of respondents were very satisfied with their current seizure medications. When asked to rank five areas of importance regarding their seizure medication, the rank order (highest to lowest) was seizure control, fewer side effects, convenient dosing regimens and cost. Adverse medication events were listed in descending rank order as problems with cognition, energy level, school performance, childbearing, coordination, and sexual function. Inter-individual differences in side effects of concern were listed, suggesting medication choices should be individualized according to potential side effects. Twenty percent of 920 respondents adjusted their medications on their own, by adjusting amount (62%), dosing schedule (31%), or both (3%). Eighty percent of respondents were satisfied with their medical care systems. In this group, 82% had health insurance that covered epilepsy. The large majority (94%) of respondents had seen a neurologist. Subjects expressed dissatisfaction about time limits and lack of accessible information about epilepsy. People with epilepsy are generally satisfied with efforts to treat their disorder, but adverse events are of concern. Many patients requested more information about epilepsy.
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View details for PubMedID 10924868