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The efficacy and safety of lamotrigine as add-on therapy in treatment-resistant epilepsy were evaluated in an open prospective study carried out at five centres in Portugal and involving 61 patients. Daily seizure diaries were kept by patients, and used by the investigators to give a rating of response to therapy. Assessments were recorded after 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. Overall, seizure control was improved in 57% of patients, remained unchanged in 34% and deteriorated in 9%. There were some indications that efficacy was greatest in patients with generalized seizures and in those taking concomitant valproate. Efficacy was maintained throughout the 2-year study. It was possible to reduce the dose of concomitant antiepileptic drug in 56% of patients, and seven patients no longer needed a concomitant antiepileptic drug. Although 75% of patients reported an adverse experience, most of these were mild or moderate in intensity, did not require treatment and were not judged to be serious. A total of 13 patients withdrew from the study (four due to adverse events, four due to lack of efficacy and five for other reasons).
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Reports and review articles on the hypersensitivities of AEDs and their effect on immunity.
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A total of 5593 patients with epilepsy were prescribed an AED during the 12-year period. The proportion of newer AED prescriptions was 52.6 % in 2001 and continuously increased to 74.3 % in 2012. Oxcarbazepine was most widely used, followed by valproic acid. While carbamazepine and vigabatrin use progressively decreased over the 12-year period, those of lamotrigine and topiramate rapidly increased. Age differences in prescribing patterns were observed. Polytherapy was observed in 49.7 % of the total population, while 83.9 % of new users were prescribed monotherapy.
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Fifty five patients (26 female) satisfied the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Their mean age was 45 years (range 23 to 86). Ten were on LTG-IR monotherapy, 24 took LTG-IR plus one other AED, most commonly levetiracetam, and the remaining 21 took LTG-IR plus at least 2 other AEDs. The mean LTG-IR dose was 544 mg/day (range 150-1100 mg/day). The mean LTG-IR serum level was 11.6 (available in 53 patients-range 4.6-21 mcg/ml). Twenty six patients were converted to the same dose and one patient took a mixture of LTG-XR and LTG-IR at the same total daily dose, while 21 had their dose slightly increased and 7 had their dose slightly decreased due to adverse effects. The mean serum level after conversion was 11.8 (available in 49 patients-range 2.6-21.2 mcg/ml). As a result of the conversion, 26 patients (47%) experienced >50% reduction in seizure frequency. There was a 46% median reduction in seizure frequency overall. Seven patients reported improvement in adverse effects.
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In choosing an antiepileptic drug, not only efficacy but also potential adverse effects have to be considered. Adverse effects that have to be taken into account include acute and chronic systemic toxicity, cognitive side effects, and teratogenesis. Acute toxicity may be dose-related, allergic or an idiosyncratic reaction. Chronic toxicity may involve the nervous system or other organs. In determining the role of new antiepileptic drugs such as lamotrigine, vigabatrin, felbamate, and gabapentin a proper evaluation of both efficacy and adverse effects is required.
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SUNCT (Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing) and SUNA (Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform headache attacks with cranial Autonomic symptoms) are rare primary headache syndromes, classified as Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias (TACs). Hypothalamic involvement in the TACs has been suggested by functional imaging data and clinically with deep brain stimulation. Fifty-two patients (43 SUNCT, 9 SUNA) were studied to determine the clinical phenotype of these conditions and response to medications. A functional imaging study explored activation of the posterior hypothalamus in attacks of SUNCT/SUNA. The clinical study characterised SUNCT and SUNA in terms of epidemiology, phenotype and clinical characteristics. Indomethacin is ineffective on single-blind testing. Intravenous lidocaine was effective in all cases. Open-label trails showed the effectiveness of lamotrigine, topiramate and gabapentin. On functional imaging there was hypothalamic activation bilaterally in 5/9 SUNCT patients, and contralaterally in two patients. Two SUNCT patients had ipsilateral negative activation. In SUNA the activation was bilaterally negative. There was no hypothalamic activation in a patient with SUNCT secondary to a brainstem lesion. The data suggests that there should be revised classification for SUNCT and SUNA, with an increased range of attack duration and frequency, cutaneous triggering of attacks, and a lack of refractory period. The concept of 'attack load' is introduced. The lack of response to indomethacin and the response to intravenous lidocaine, are useful in diagnostic and therapeutic terms, respectively. Preventive treatments include lamotrigine, gabapentin and topiramate. The role of hypothalamic involvement in SUNCT and SUNA as TACs is considered.
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The procedure was reproducible and linear (from 2.5 to 1000 ng/ml). At 2 and 4 min after flumazenil administration, the concentrations did not differ significantly between panicking and nonpanicking subjects, indicating that the pharmacokinetics of the drug is not the major determinant of the responses. There was a steep decline in the plasma concentration-time profile during the first 4 min, reflecting an extensive and rapid distribution after which the decline was slower.
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Eighteen studies (n=2152, duration=9.83 weeks) in patients with unipolar depression (studies=4, n=187; monotherapy vs lithium=1, augmentation of antidepressants vs placebo=3) or bipolar depression (studies=14, n=1965; monotherapy vs placebo=5, monotherapy vs lithium or olanzapine+fluoxetine=2, augmentation of antidepressants vs placebo=1, augmentation of mood stabilizers vs placebo=3, augmentation of mood stabilizers vs trancylpromine, citalopram, or inositol=3) were meta-analyzed. Lamotrigine's efficacy for depressive symptoms did not differ significantly in monotherapy vs augmentation studies (vs. placebo: p=0.98, I2=0%; vs active agents: p=0.48, I2=0%) or in unipolar vs bipolar patients (vs placebo: p=0.60, I2=0%), allowing pooling of each placebo-controlled and active-controlled trials. Lamotrigine outperformed placebo regarding depressive symptoms (studies=11, n=713 vs n=696; SMD=-0.15, 95% CI=-0.27, -0.02, p=0.02, heterogeneity: p=0.24) and response (after removing one extreme outlier; RR=1.42, 95% CI=1.13-1.78; p=0.003, heterogeneity: p=0.08). Conversely, lamotrigine did not differ regarding efficacy on depressive symptoms, response, or remission from lithium, olanzapine+fluoxetine, citalopram, or inositol (studies=6, n=306 vs n=318, p-values=0.85-0.92). Adverse effects and all-cause/specific-cause discontinuation were similar across all comparisons.
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These results suggest that there may be benefit in adding treatment with a suitable NK1-receptor antagonist to treatment with a sodium channel blocker in patients with refractory epilepsy.
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Certain antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) such as valproic acid (VPA) are known to affect body weight, and lipid profile. However, evidences regarding effects of AEDs on the body composition are deficient. This cross-sectional study compared the body composition and lipid profile among patients with epilepsy on newer and conventional AEDs.
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Based on the keywords and after reading the full papers, we could include 12 papers on anticonvulsants, 10 papers on antidepressants, four on NMDA receptor antagonists, and 10 papers on other adjuvant analgesics. The methodological quality of the included papers was graded as low to very low. Overall, there was a low quality of evidence that gabapentin, pregabalin, amitriptyline, and venlafaxine were effective in reducing pain intensity in patients with cancer pain. There was insufficient evidence on the effectiveness of lamotrigine, levetiracetam, NMDA antagonists, cannabinoids, corticosteroids, and local anesthetics on reducing pain intensity in patients with cancer pain.
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Chronic pain states and epilepsies are common therapeutic targets of voltage-gated sodium channel blockers. Inhibition of sodium channels results in central muscle relaxant activity as well. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are also applied in the treatment of pain syndromes. Here, we investigate the pharmacodynamic interaction between these two types of drugs on spinal neurotransmission in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the ability of serotonin reuptake inhibitors to modulate the anticonvulsant and windup inhibitory actions and motor side effect of the sodium channel blocker lamotrigine was investigated. In the hemisected spinal cord model, we found that serotonin reuptake inhibitors increased the reflex inhibitory action of sodium channel blockers. The interaction was clearly more than additive. The potentiation was prevented by blocking 5-HT(2) receptors and PKC, and mimicked by activation of these targets by selective pharmacological tools, suggesting the involvement of 5-HT(2) receptors and PKC in the modulation of sodium channel function. The increase of sodium current blocking potency of lamotrigine by PKC activation was also demonstrated at cellular level, using the whole-cell patch clamp method. Similar synergism was found in vivo, in spinal reflex, windup, and maximal electroshock seizure models, but not in the rotarod test, which indicate enhanced muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant and analgesic activities with improved side effect profile. Our findings are in agreement with clinical observations suggesting that sodium channel blocking drugs, such as lamotrigine, can be advantageously combined with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in some therapeutic fields, and may help to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction.
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Kainic acid (KA) is used as an experimental agent which produces convulsions and neurotoxic lesions. Lamotrigine (LTG) is an antiepileptic drug, a glutamate release inhibitor, with action at the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel. The aim of the present study was to investigate the Na+-K+-ATPase activity in the hippocampus and cortex of rats with KA-induced convulsions. Further, this study was also designed to investigate the influence of the LTG pre-treatment on the mentioned hippocampal and cortex changes.
Traditional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are associated with drug interactions and side effects that limit their safety and tolerability. Side effects of traditional AEDs are especially problematic for children and adolescents, women of childbearing age, and the elderly. Many patients with epilepsy may benefit from switching from a traditional AED to a newer agent because the newer agents are generally better tolerated and are less likely to cause drug interactions. Clinical studies have demonstrated improved therapeutic efficiency with better tolerability in patients switching from a traditional AED to lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, or topiramate monotherapy or combination therapy.
This is a retrospective, long-term observational study. Patients with partial epilepsy who received monotherapy with one of six AEDs, namely, CBZ, VPA, topiramate (TPM), oxcarbazepine (OXC), lamotrigine (LTG), or levetiracetam (LEV), were identified and followed up from May 2007 to October 2014, and time to first seizure after treatment, 12-month remission rate, retention rate, reasons for treatment discontinuation, and adverse effects were evaluated.
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Forty-one articles met the entry criteria. A total of 4447 patients with LTG therapy from 26 prospective studies, 2977 patients from 8 retrospective studies, and 26,126 patients from 5/7 postmarketing reports were included. The overall incidence of skin rash with LTG therapy was 9.98% (444/4447) from prospective studies, 7.19% (214/2977) from retrospective studies, and 2.09% (547/26,126) from postmarketing reports. A meta-analysis of the risk of skin rash in 21 prospective studies, did not show a significant difference between patients with LTG and other drugs, including placebo, other ADEs or lithium (OR 0.99-2.41). In 6 respective studies, there was a significantly higher OR in patients with LTG compared with those with non-aromatic AEDs. However, there was no significant difference in rash risk between patients with LTG and aromatic AEDs.
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A large therapeutic drug monitoring database containing plasma concentrations of RIS and its metabolite 9-hydroxy-RIS (9-OH-RIS) of 1,584 adult patients was analyzed. Four groups (n = 1,072) were compared: a control group without a potentially cytochrome interacting comedication (R0, n = 852), a group comedicated with valproate (VPA) (RVPA, n = 153), a group comedicated with lamotrigine (LMT) (RLMT, n = 46), and a group under concomitant medication with carbamazepine (CBZ) (RCBZ, n = 21). Dose-adjusted plasma concentrations (C/D ratio) for RIS, 9-OH-RIS and active moiety (AM) (RIS + 9-OH-RIS), as well as metabolic ratios (RIS/9-OH-RIS) were computed.
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Visual acuity at last follow-up and visual function based on the National Eye Institute 25-item Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) at 6 months.
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In clinical practice, the therapeutic effect not only consists of the percentage of patients who respond to treatment, but also the length of time this response is maintained. In our study, both measurements of effect showed results similar to those with classical antiepileptic drugs.
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AED concentrations in plasma and brain extracellular space of these mutant rats did not differ significantly from those of rats of the corresponding background strain. In the amygdala-kindling model of epilepsy, the anticonvulsant efficacy of LTG and FBM was comparable in both groups of rats. In contrast, CBZ exhibited a higher anticonvulsant activity in kindled ABCC2-deficient rats as compared with nonmutant rats.
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Hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide (HCN) gated channels conduct a current, I(h); how I(h) influences excitability and spike firing depends primarily on channel distribution in subcellular compartments. For example, dendritic expression of HCN1 normalizes somatic voltage responses and spike output in hippocampal and cortical neurons. We reported previously that HCN2 is predominantly expressed in dendritic spines in reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) neurons, but the functional impact of such nonsomatic HCN2 expression remains unknown. We examined the role of HCN2 expression in regulating RTN excitability and GABAergic output from RTN to thalamocortical relay neurons using wild-type and HCN2 knock-out mice. Pharmacological blockade of I(h) significantly increased spike firing in RTN neurons and large spontaneous IPSC frequency in relay neurons; conversely, pharmacological enhancement of HCN channel function decreased spontaneous IPSC frequency. HCN2 deletion abolished I(h) in RTN neurons and significantly decreased sensitivity to 8-bromo-cAMP and lamotrigine. Recapitulating the effects of I(h) block, HCN2 deletion increased both temporal summation of EPSPs in RTN neurons as well as GABAergic output to postsynaptic relay neurons. The enhanced excitability of RTN neurons after I(h) block required activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors; consistent with this was the colocalization of HCN2 and glutamate receptor 4 subunit immunoreactivities in dendritic spines of RTN neurons. The results indicate that, in mouse RTN neurons, HCN2 is the primary functional isoform underlying I(h) and expression of HCN2 constrains excitatory synaptic integration.