Prescribing antiepileptic drugs for people with epilepsy and intellectual disability

by Dr Lance Vincent Watkins, Dr Charlotte Young and Dr Rohit Shankar


Last updated: February 2020


The Royal College of Psychiatrists College Reports CR203 and CR206 address the important area of epilepsy diagnosis and management in people with intellectual disability (ID) (RCPsych, 2017a; 2017b).


Nearly a quarter of people with ID have epilepsy (Robertson et al, 2015). Epilepsy and ID are two conditions that are linked to premature mortality, increased morbidity and carry high levels of stigma leading to social isolation.


For psychiatrists working with people with ID, the management of epilepsy is a core skill due to the complexities of physical, behavioural and mental health needs in this population.


Knowing how to identify and manage side-effects and interactions of antiepileptic drugs is essential. In addition, difficult choices need to be made for people who struggle to make their own decisions and have problems in communication while ensuring a satisfactory quality of life.


This module will explore the key topics raised in the College Reports to help you obtain your bronze level of competence as stipulated in College Report CR203.


Start the module



Please note: This module previously had the title Epilepsy in intellectual disability.

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Sensory impairment and intellectual disability by Dr Reza Kiani and Dr Helen Miller


Neuropsychiatry of epilepsy by Dr Robert Fung, Dr Suren Govender and Dr Niruj Agrawal


Assessment of traumatic brain injury by Dr Simon Fleminger and Dr Arsime Demjaha


People with intellectual disabilities in criminal justice settings by Dr Fergus Douds, Dr Jana de Villiers and Jane Macer



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