Brain Tumours and Prophylactic Antiepileptic Drug Prescribing Patterns by Neurosurgeons Practising in Australasia


Prescribing patterns amongst practising Australasian neurosurgeons regarding the use of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in patients with newly diagnosed intrinsic brain tumours are not well established. This study aimed to determine the rate of prophylactic AED prescribing in this clinical context and to determine if there were some particular factors that influenced prescribers in their decision. A survey was conducted, and of the 91 respondents, 23 (25.3%) prescribed prophylactic AEDs. No neurosurgeons practising in New Zealand prescribed, whereas within Australian states/territories, prescribing was most common in Western Australia (3/4, 75.0%) and Queensland (8/18, 44.4%) and less common in the Australian Capital Territory (0/2, 0.0%) and South Australia (1/7, 14.3%). The most commonly prescribed first-line AED was phenytoin (n = 15, 68.2%) followed by levetiracetam (n = 5, 22.7%). The duration of prescription varied from 1 week to 6 months, with 6 weeks chosen by most prescribers (n = 7, 35%). Important factors that influence the decision to prescribe include tumour location and a history of previous seizure/s, whereas the presence of oedema or haemorrhage and patients’ age do not seem to be major influences amongst prescribers.

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Tsimiklis, C. and Harding, M. (2015) Brain Tumours and Prophylactic Antiepileptic Drug Prescribing Patterns by Neurosurgeons Practising in Australasia. Neuroscience and Medicine, 6, 13-19. doi: 10.4236/nm.2015.61003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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