Rashes and Other Hypersensitivity Reactions Associated with Antiepileptic Drugs: A Review of Current Literature

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are associated with rashes and other hypersensitivity reactions. The incidence varies depending on the type of rash, the AED used, and the previous history of rash with quoted incidences ranging from 1.7 -8.8%. Drugs with the greatest risk include phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, and lamotrigine, while several other AEDs have a risk < 1% [1,2]. AEDs are commonly used in adult and pediatric patients with epilepsy (PWE), pain, and behavioral health problems [3]. It is important to understand the rash risk of various AEDs and be able to recognize the difference between mild and more serious rashes that need immediate attention and discontinuation of therapy.