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Interventions for psychotic symptoms concomitant with epilepsy

Farooq, Saeed; Sherin, Akhtar


Akhtar Sherin


Cochrane Epilepsy Group


This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 4, 2008.

People suffering from epilepsy have an increased risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms. The psychotic syndromes associated with epilepsy have generally been classified as ictal, postictal, and interictal psychosis. Anticonvulsant drugs have been reported to precipitate psychosis. Moreover, all antipsychotic drugs have the propensity to cause paroxysmal electroencephalogram abnormalities and induce seizures.

To evaluate the benefits of interventions used to treat clinically significant psychotic symptoms occurring in people with epilepsy with regard to global improvement, changes in mental state, hospitalization, behavior, quality of life, effect on the frequency of seizures, and interaction with antiepileptic drugs.

Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group's Specialized Register (23 March 2015), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL via the Cochrane Register of Studies Online (CRSO), 23 March 2015), MEDLINE (Ovid, 1946 to 23 March 2015), PsycINFO (1887 to 23 March 2015), CINAHL (1937 to 23 March 2015), and BIOSIS Previews (1969 to 23 March 2015).

Two review authors (SF and AS) independently inspected the citations identified from the search. We identified potentially relevant abstracts and assessed full papers for inclusion and methodological quality.

Selection criteria
All randomized controlled trials comparing drugs, behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, or other non‐pharmacological interventions used to relieve psychotic symptoms in people with epilepsy.

Data collection and analysis
We planned to extract and analyze the data from all relevant studies using standardized methods. As only one study met the inclusion criteria, we attempted no meta‐analysis.

Main results
After independently assessing the abstracts and titles of 618 articles, we selected five relevant abstracts. Ultimately we found only one study meeting the inclusion criteria, which was available only as an abstract. This study compared the use of olanzapine (10 mg/day) with haloperidol (12 mg/day) in 16 people suffering from schizophrenia‐like psychosis of epilepsy. Thirteen participants completed the study. Significant improvement was associated with use of olanzapine. We did not identify any study on psychosocial interventions in people suffering from epilepsy and psychosis.


Farooq, S., & Sherin, A. Interventions for psychotic symptoms concomitant with epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2020(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 21, 2015
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2023
Journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Publisher Cochrane Collaboration
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2020
Issue 4
Keywords Pharmacology (medical)