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BACKGROUND: Irritability is a adverse effect of many antiseizure medications (ASMs), but there are no validated measures currently available to characterize this behavioral risk. We examined both child and parent/guardian versions of the Affective Reactivity Index (ARI), a validated measure developed for application in adolescent psychiatry, to determine its sensitivity to ASM-related irritability. We hypothesized irritability increases associated with levetiracetam (LEV) but not lamotrigine (LTG) or oxcarbazepine (OXC).METHOD: The ARI was administered to 71 child and parent/guardian pairs randomized to one of three common ASMs (LEV, LTG, OXC) used to treat new-onset focal (localization-related) epilepsy. Subjects were recruited as part of a prospective multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel group design. The ARI was administered at baseline prior to treatment initiation and again at 3?months after ASM initiation.RESULTS: There was a significant increase in ARI ratings for both child and parent/guardian ratings for LEV but not LTG or OXC when assessed 3?months after treatment initiation. When examined on the individual subject level using a criterion of at least a 3-point ARI increase, there was an increase associated with LEV for child ratings but not parent/guardian scores.CONCLUSION: Both child and parent/guardian versions of the ARI appear sensitive to medication-induced irritability associated with LEV on both the group and individual levels. The findings extend the applicability of ARI from characterizing the presence of clinical irritability as a psychiatric diagnostic feature to a more modifiable aspect of behavior change related to medication management and support its use in clinical trial applications.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.106687
View details for PubMedID 31816478