Antiepileptic drugs in the control of the impulses disorders

C. Roncero, A. Rodriguez-Urrutia, L. Grau-López, M. Casas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The disorders classified as control of the impulses; explosive intermittent disorder, pathological gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, pathological gambling, hair pullers, compulsive purchases, skin picking and onychophagia are a heterogeneous set of clinical entities, most of them with little prevalence. Nevertheless, they cause important personal and social dysfunctions and present great comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders. Antipsychotics, antidepressive agents, serotoninergic agonists, naltrexone, beta blockers antiandrogen, lithium and anticonvulsants have been used in their pharmacological treatment. Currently, interest is growing on the use of the antiepileptics because their possible usefulness has been described in these disorders. However, the neurobiological effects are only partially known in some cases. We have reviewed the literature regarding the treatment of these disorders with mood stabilizers, (lithium, carbamazepine, valproate, phenitoin, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, lamotrigin, leviteracetam) and have described those studies on which the current knowledge and evidence are based. The results must be considered as provisional and must be updated in the future, since they are mostly based on case reports, case series or opened clinical trials, their being little knowledge based on double blind clinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
JournalActas Espanolas de Psiquiatria
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Explosive intermittent disorder
  • Hair pullers
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Kleptomania
  • Pathological gambling
  • Pyromania


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