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NICE consults on draft recommendations for the pharmacological management of epilepsy

NICE is updating the pharmacological aspects of its clinical guideline on the management of epilepsy in adults and children in primary and secondary care. As part of this process, draft recommendations have been published on the NICE website today (5 August) for public consultation.

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterised by recurring seizures. The condition is estimated to affect between 260,000 and 416,000 people in England and Wales. Two thirds of people with active epilepsy can effectively control their seizures with a class of medication known as anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).

NICE is updating its pharmacological recommendations as there has been an increase in available AEDs since the original guideline was published in 2004.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said: "While epilepsy is a lifelong condition, most people are able to control their seizures effectively with medication and live a normal life. However, it can take some time to find the right type of anti-epileptic drug and dose suited to the individual, before a satisfactory outcome can be achieved.

"Since we published our original clinical guideline six years ago, the number of anti-epileptic drugs available in the UK has risen, which means healthcare professionals may not know whether these newer drugs bring any additional clinical benefits for their price, compared to what is already available.

"We are updating our clinical guideline on the diagnosis and management of this condition so that healthcare professionals can be sure that they are prescribing the most clinically and cost effective treatments and that they are doing so in the correct order. We welcome feedback from all third parties during this consultation period so that our final guideline can be of the greatest benefit to patients."

Any organisations wishing to submit comments on the draft guideline are invited to do so via the NICE website by 30 September 2010.

NICE then hopes to publish its final recommendations in March 2011.

Ends

Notes to Editors

About the draft clinical guideline

Further information on The diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in adults and children in primary and secondary care (partial update of NICE clinical guideline 20)

About NICE

1. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

2. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, procedures and medical technologies within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS

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This page was last updated: 05 August 2010

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.