“If I’m treating my seasonal allergies and I forget to take my antihistamine, I might sneeze more, but the risk is not so high. If I have seizure medicine that I’m supposed to take every day and I forget a couple days, then it’s high risk. If I have a seizure while I’m driving or at work—it’s a whole different risk factor.”

At the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, June 22-26, in Bangkok, Thailand, NeurologyLive® spoke with James W. Wheless, MD, about one of the complicated nature of treating and managing patients with epilepsy. With a number of available interventions ranging from the dietary to pharmacokinetic to surgical, combined with the complexity of the disease and high rates of refractory patients, there can be wide variations in treatment regimens.

The professor and chief of pediatric neurology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center spoke about the process of determining when a patient might benefit from monotherapy or polytherapy, and how physicians navigate those treatment decisions.

Wheless also shared his insight into addressing the challenges of patient adherence, which, despite its vital nature in epilepsy, is quite poor in that patient population. Adherence is a particular challenge, he said, due to the high risk of seizures that couples with poor adherence. According to Wheless, producing strategies to aid patients in maintaining high adherence and educating patients on  its importance is the first step.

For more coverage of IEC 2019, click here.