There are now 24 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) approved for use in epilepsy in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, and Google for all English-language articles that discuss newly approved AEDs and the use of AEDs in epilepsy in the United States from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2011. Five new agents were identified that have come onto the market within the past 2 years. Moreover, 3 trends involving AEDs have become clinically important and must be considered by all who treat patients with epilepsy. These trends include issues of generic substitution of AEDs, pharmacogenomics predicting serious adverse events in certain ethnic populations, and the issue of the suicide risk involving the entire class of AEDs. This article discusses the most recent AEDs approved for use in the United States and the 3 important trends shaping the modern medical management of epilepsy.
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