It is often felt that poorly controlled epileptic patients, who are taking anticonvulsant medication, are over represented in A&E departments compared to the general population. This A&E based study set out to determine whether such patients do have inadequate serum anticonvulsant levels, when they present following a seizure, to A&E departments. All epileptic patients, taking medication, who presented to the A&E departments of St. Bartholomew's and Hackney Hospitals, London, over a 4-month period were studied. Serum anticonvulsant concentrations were measured on their arrival in the departments. Forty-six patients were studied. Only 21% of anticonvulsant drug concentrations were within 'therapeutic' ranges. A total of 66% were below 'therapeutic' ranges and 13% were potentially toxic. The implication of these findings is discussed.
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