The Institute of Neurological Sciences, Voluntary Health Services, Taramani, Chennai, India
1) Depression is a common and important accompaniment of epilepsy. 2) Depression in epilepsy is phenomenologically different from the usual forms of depression and it is essential that treating physicians assess for these varied forms as well. 3) Depression in epilepsy may be managed more effectively if the relationship to the ictus is better understood. 4) Other factors such as stressful life events, related or unrelated to epilepsy, may contribute to the depressive symptoms. 5) Antiepileptic drugs, particularly GABAergic agents such as vigabatrin, tiagabine, topiramate and phenobarbitone are depressogenic in nature. 6) The newer antidepressants, SSRIs such as sertraline, citalopram and paroxetine do not lower seizure threshold and can be safely used to treat depression in epileptic individuals. Fluoxetine may be avoided because of its longer half-life.