Introduction: Epilepsy treatment in older people requires specific consideration owing to more physical co-morbidities, the risk of drug-to-drug interactions through polypharmacy, and differences in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. There are many ‘newer’ antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) widely used for various seizure types and seizure disorders. However, there is limited specific evidence for the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of these treatments in the elderly population.
Areas covered: This review summarizes the current and most robust evidence available for the use of the newer AEDs belonging to generation two and three in elderly people with epilepsy. The article provides practical evidenced based clinical information to help prescribers choose the most appropriate AED from the drugs discussed.
Expert opinion: Diagnosing new onset epilepsy in the elderly population requires specialist assessment. Treatment plans need to be tailored to accommodate an individual’s co-morbidities, concurrent medications, and general health status. To date, few clinical investigations consider the elderly population specifically despite the increased risk factors. There is a need for large quality trial data to assess the impact of the newest AEDs on seizure control and quality of life in this population with complex needs.