Background: A high number of patients with epilepsy have comorbidities. The type of comorbidity is an important factor in deciding on the most suitable treatment, including that for acute epileptic seizures and chronic antiepileptic treatment. Evidence-based criteria should guide the selection of the appropriate antiepileptic drugs given specific comorbidities. Methods: We performed a comprehensive search of the scientific literature on epilepsy treatment in patients with the following comorbidities: heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, porphyria, organ transplantation, thyroid disease, metabolic disorder, infection, mental disability, psychiatric disorder, cognitive impairment, stroke, and brain tumour. Results: Most of the studies were case series and retrospective analyses. No randomised controlled trials specifically designed for this type of clinical situation were identified. The level of scientific evidence to guide clinical decisions is therefore low. Conclusions: In this review we make recommendations based on the best scientific evidence available for treating epilepsy in patients with other comorbidities, including the treatment of epileptic seizures in acute situations as well as chronic antiepileptic treatment. When no scientific evidence is available, our recommendations are based on pharmacokinetic criteria and tolerability of antiepileptic drugs, using accumulated experience and the consensus of the members of the Andalusian Epilepsy Society. © 2010 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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