Valproic acid may be more effective than lamotrigine as a first-line drug for the treatment newly diagnosed idiopathic generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) in adults. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research.Opinions among medical professionals differ as to which drug is more effective in adults newly diagnosed with idiopathic GTCS, and this prompted researchers in India to carry out a comparison of the two.For the study, the team recruited 60 participants with idiopathic GTCS and divided them into two groups. Half of the participants received valproic acid while the other half received lamotrigine.The results showed that, after 12 months, more than 75% of participants taking valproic acid and approximately 57% of participants taking lamotrigine were seizure-free. Adverse side effects were seen in almost a third of cases in the group taking valproic acid and included sedation, ataxia (lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements) and tremor. More than half of the lamotrigine group experienced adverse effects, including nausea, indigestion, headache and skin rash.According to the authors, both valproic acid and lamotrigine are effective as first-line treatments for newly diagnosed adults with idiopathic GTCS. However, valproic acid appears to be preferable to lamotrigine because it is more effective and better tolerated.Further studies on a larger number of subjects, who are followed for a longer period of time, are needed to confirm the results obtained in this study and evaluate the long-term effects of these drugs.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more articles about anti-epileptic drugs and pregnancy risks.