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The Use of Caffeine by People with Epilepsy: the Myths and the Evidence

Bauer, PR; Sander, JW; (2019) The Use of Caffeine by People with Epilepsy: the Myths and the Evidence. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports , 19 , Article 32. 10.1007/s11910-019-0948-5. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Caffeine is the most widely consumed central nervous stimulant. For people with epilepsy, it is often unclear whether drinking coffee carries a risk of triggering seizures. RECENT FINDINGS: The relationship between caffeine, seizures, epilepsy, and anti-seizure drugs is not fully understood. Clinical studies are scarce. In animal models, caffeine can increase seizure susceptibility but can also protect from seizures. Effects seem dose-dependent and are influenced by the duration of intake and the developmental stage at which caffeine exposure started. Caffeine reduces the efficacy of several anti-seizure medications, especially topiramate. It is unclear how these findings, mainly from animal studies, can be translated to the clinical condition. At present, there is no evidence to advise people with epilepsy against the use or overuse of caffeine. Until clinical studies suggest otherwise, caffeine intake should be considered as a factor in achieving and maintaining seizure control in epilepsy.

Type: Article
Title: The Use of Caffeine by People with Epilepsy: the Myths and the Evidence
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11910-019-0948-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-019-0948-5
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Anti-seizure drugs, Antiepileptic drugs, Cortical excitability, Energy drinks, Seizures
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075095
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