Antiepileptic drug selection for people with HIV/AIDS: Evidence-based guidelines from the ILAE and AAN

Gretchen L. Birbeck*, Jacqueline A. French, Emilio Perucca, David M. Simpson, Henry Fraimow, Jomy M. George, Jason F. Okulicz, David B. Clifford, Houda Hachad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


A joint panel of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) convened to develop guidelines for selection of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) among people with HIV/AIDS. The literature was systematically reviewed to assess the global burden of relevant comorbid entities, to determine the number of patients who potentially utilize AEDs and antiretroviral agents (ARVs), and to address AED-ARV interactions. Key findings from this literature search included the following: AED-ARV administration may be indicated in up to 55% of people taking ARVs. Patients receiving phenytoin may require a lopinavir/ritonavir dosage increase of approximately 50% to maintain unchanged serum concentrations (Level C). Patients receiving valproic acid may require a zidovudine dosage reduction to maintain unchanged serum zidovudine concentrations (Level C). Coadministration of valproic acid and efavirenz may not require efavirenz dosage adjustment (Level C). Patients receiving ritonavir/atazanavir may require a lamotrigine dosage increase of approximately 50% to maintain unchanged lamotrigine serum concentrations (Level C). Coadministration of raltegravir/atazanavir and lamotrigine may not require lamotrigine dosage adjustment (Level C). Coadministration of raltegravir and midazolam may not require midazolam dosage adjustment (Level C). Patients may be counseled that it is unclear whether dosage adjustment is necessary when other AEDs and ARVs are combined (Level U). It may be important to avoid enzyme-inducing AEDs in people on ARV regimens that include protease inhibitors or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors because pharmacokinetic interactions may result in virologic failure, which has clinical implications for disease progression and development of ARV resistance. If such regimens are required for seizure control, patients may be monitored through pharmacokinetic assessments to ensure efficacy of the ARV regimen (Level C).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • ARV Resistance
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Antiretrovirals
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV
  • Interactions
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Toxicity


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