Pharmacokinetic Considerations with the Use of Antiepileptic Drugs in Patients with HIV and Organ Transplants

  • Jorge J. AsconapéEmail author
Neurology of Systemic Diseases (J Biller, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neurology of Systemic Disease


Purpose of Review

Antiepileptic drugs are frequently administered to patients with HIV infection or in recipients of organ transplants. The potentially serious drug-drug interactions between the “classic” antiepileptic drugs, antiretrovirals, and immunosuppressants have been extensively studied. Evidence-based information on the second and third generation of antiepileptic drugs is almost non-existent. The purpose of this review is to analyze the pharmacokinetic profile of these newer agents to assess their potential for drug interactions with antiretrovirals and immunosuppressants.

Recent Findings

As a group, the newer generations of antiepileptic drugs have shown a more favorable drug interaction potential compared to the “classic” ones. A group of moderate enzyme-inducing drugs includes eslicarbazepine acetate, oxcarbazepine, rufinamide, and topiramate. These drugs are not as potent inducers as the “classic” drugs but may potentially decrease the serum concentrations of some antiretrovirals and immunosuppressants. Antiepileptic drugs with no or minimal enzyme-inducing properties include brivaracetam, gabapentin, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, perampanel, pregabalin, and vigabatrin.


The newer generations of antiepileptic drugs have expanded the therapeutic options in patients with HIV infection or organ transplants.


Antiepileptic drugs Antiretroviral Immunosuppressive agents Epilepsy HIV Organ transplant 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jorge J. Asconapé reports personal fees from UCB Pharma, personal fees from Eisai, outside the submitted work.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Stritch School of MedicineLoyola University ChicagoMaywoodUSA

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