Severe hypersensitivity to antiepileptic drugs: british neurological surveillance unit (bnsu)

Hypersensitivity reactions account for 2–6% of all hospital admissions. Severe hypersensitivity reactions such as hypersensitivity syndrome (HSS), acute generalised exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), Stevens–Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are associated with significant mortality and long–term morbidity including scarring and blindness. These hypersensitivity reactions are comparatively common with antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy. The incidence of HSS is approximately 1 in 500 AED exposures whilst SJS/TEN is estimated to occur in 1 in 5000 exposures to carbamazepine (CBZ). More recently, research has demonstrated that susceptibility to certain AED–induced hypersensitivity reactions are strongly associated with genetic risk factors. For ex…