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The new antiepileptic drugs present a wide interindividual and intraindividual variability which leads us to believe that some of they may be suitable candidates for therapeutic monitoring, but at present no target ranges have been clearly defined for any of them. Therefore, routine monitoring cannot be recommended, but it may be useful to establish an individual reference level that allows control over compliance and dosage readjustment in the presence of factors that alter their pharmacokinetics. Specific prospective studies are needed to establish target ranges that allow to individualize dosage in the absence of clinical criteria and to resolve doubts about the efficacy and toxicity of these drugs. Quicker and simpler assays that make monitoring easier are also needed.
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Efficacy variables included change in seizure frequency per 28 days and the proportion of patients experiencing a ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency (50% responder rate) from Baseline to the Maintenance Phase. The proportion of patients experiencing a ≥75% reduction in seizure frequency from Baseline to the Maintenance Phase (75% responder rate) was also assessed. Safety parameters assessed were treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and discontinuation due to TEAEs. Additional safety assessments were changes in ECG and laboratory parameters as well as vital signs (including bodyweight).
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To describe common clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) or early AD who also have epilepsy or subclinical epileptiform activity.
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Exposure to five common AEDs was associated with SRB in older VHA beneficiaries. Given the strong associations between psychiatric comorbidity and SRB, clinicians treating elderly adults should weigh this potential adverse effect into their consideration for treatment of those receiving AEDs. Particular attention should be given to depression and suicidality screening in people prescribed AEDs.
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An interaction between antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and the combined oral contraceptive pill was first proposed when the dose of estradiol in the oral contraceptive pill was reduced from 100 to 50 microg. There was a higher incidence of breakthrough bleeding and contraceptive failure among women with epilepsy compared with women in general. Since then, interaction studies have been undertaken to look for possible interactions between AEDs and the combined oral contraceptive pill. Phenobarbital (phenobarbitone), phenytoin, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, felbamate and topiramate have been shown to increase the metabolism of ethinylestradiol and progestogens. Therefore, if a women is on one of the AEDs and wishes to take the oral contraceptive pill, she will need to take a preparation containing at least 50 microg of ethinylestradiol. Levonorgestrel implants are contraindicated in women receiving these AEDs because of cases of contraceptive failure. It is recommended that medroxyprogesterone injections be given every 10 rather than 12 weeks to women who are receiving AEDs that induce hepatic microsomal enzymes. There are no interactions between the combined oral contraceptive pill, progesterone-only pill, medroxyprogesterone injections or levonorgestrel implants and the AEDs valproic acid (sodium valproate), vigabatrin, lamotrigine, gabapentin, tiagabine, levetiracetam, zonisamide, ethosuximide and the benzodiazepines. Therefore, normal dose contraceptive preparations can be used in patients receiving these AEDs.
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Pain management is a high priority for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Despite deficiencies in research data, neuromodulators have gained widespread clinical acceptance as adjuvants in the management of patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
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The relative neurocognitive effects of the various psychotropic antiepileptic drugs in patients with bipolar disorder were concordant with those described in the seminal literature in normal volunteers and patients with epilepsy. LMTG and OCBZ had the least neurotoxicity, and TPM, VPA, and CBZ had the most. LIT effects on neurocognition were intermediate. Choosing a mood-stabilizing drug with minimal neurocognitive effects may enhance patient compliance over the long term.
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Patients treated with carbamazepine (CBZ) have increased serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). We aimed to investigate whether these changes of serum lipids are reversible after CBZ withdrawal.
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To review the rational drug choice for these patients, the PubMed database was searched with the keywords IGE and AEDs.
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Abdominal ultrasound as well as measurement of serum fasting insulin and glucose, serum lipids and liver function parameters were performed in VPA (n=23), CBZ (n=22) and LTG (n=23) treated non-diabetic and non-obese epileptic patients compared to healthy controls (n=16).
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In this study, we describe the effect of antiepileptic drugs on the production of kynurenic acid in rat cortical slices, and on the activity of kynurenic acid biosynthetic enzymes, kynurenine aminotransferases (KATs I and II) in the brain tissue. Phenobarbital, felbamate, phenytoin and lamotrigine (all at 0.5-3.0 mM) enhanced kynurenic acid production in vitro, and stimulated the activity of KAT I. In contrast, vigabatrin, gabapentin and tiagabine inhibited kynurenic acid synthesis in cortical slices with IC(50) of 3.9 (2.8-7.9), 3.7 (2.5-5.4) and 7.5 (3.5-14.3) mM, respectively. Vigabatrin, gabapentin and tiagabine reduced also the activity of KAT I with IC(50) of 1.6 (1.1-2.4), 0.1 (0.01-0.15), 0.9 (0.7-1.2) mM, and the activity of KAT II with IC(50) values of 6.0 (4.8-7.5), 0.2 (0.1-0.3) and 2.0 (1.5-2.6) mM, respectively. In conclusion, the enhancement of kynurenic acid formation displayed by carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, felbamate and lamotrigine seems to be a novel mechanism, synergistic with other actions of these drugs, and potentially valuable in terms of better control of epilepsy.
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An electronic literature search of MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, EMBASE, PsycInfo, EconLit and Cochrane Library databases for trials published between September 2003 and September 2014 was conducted. Key outcomes extracted were disease severity change from baseline, response and remission rates at various timepoints and discontinuation due to adverse events.
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There are several important interactions between antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and hormonal contraception that need to be carefully considered by women with epilepsy (WWE) and their practitioners. Many AEDs induce hepatic enzymes and decrease the efficacy of hormonal contraception. In addition, estrogen-containing hormonal contraception can increase the metabolism of lamotrigine, the most commonly prescribed AED in women of childbearing age. The intrauterine device (IUD) is a highly effective form of reversible contraception without AED drug interactions that is considered by many to be the contraceptive of choice for WWE. Women with epilepsy not planning pregnancy require effective contraceptive counseling that should include discussion of an IUD. There are no guidelines, however, on who should deliver these recommendations. The objective of this study was to explore the hypothesis that contraceptive counseling by a neurologist can influence the contraceptive choices of WWE. In particular, we explored the relationship between contraceptive counseling in the epilepsy clinic and the likelihood that patients would obtain an IUD.
One hundred and thirty one patients with epilepsy were recruited and followed-up during 5 years. A detailed medical history, neurological examination, EEGs, Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, executive function, and MRI were assessed. Systematically collected data were used to assess suicidality. Multiple regression analysis was carried out to examine predictive associations between clinical variables, psychiatric disorders, antiepileptic drugs and suicidality.
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Despite widespread uptake of bariatric procedures for severe obesity, changes in pharmacodynamics after surgery are poorly understood. We report an epileptic patient who had a seizure following gastric bypass, although he had been asymptomatic for 30 years and without any change in his treatment. Phenytoin levels were undetectable despite a high dose. Drugs with a narrow therapeutic range such as phenytoin should be prescribed with caution after bariatric surgery.
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A method for the analysis of the basic antiepileptic compounds felbamate, lamotrigine, carbamazepine, carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, gabapentin, pregabalin, levetiracetam, and oxcarbazepine monohydroxy derivative (oxcarb MHD) in human plasma is described. This protocol incorporates a simplified sample preparation step followed by quantitative high performance chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry detection of commonly prescribed and monitored anticonvulsant drugs. Since polytherapy is common in epilepsy patients, use of a multiconstituent assay can improve laboratory efficiency and reduce required analytical time.
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Patients with glioblastoma (GBM) often suffer from symptomatic epilepsy. Older antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) which affect the enzyme system cytochrome P450 have been in extensive use, but there is an increasing focus on interactions with other drugs. This study investigated whether newer AEDs with little or no enzyme effect are increasingly preferred. Previous research has indicated that valproate improves survival in GBM. We investigated the impact of AEDs on overall survival in GBM patients. All GBM patients diagnosed in Norway 2004-2010 were included through a linkage of national registries, and follow-up data on the malignancy and drug usage were analyzed. In a multivariate cox proportional-hazards regression, AEDs were adjusted for each other and for relevant factors. Immortal time bias was eliminated with time-dependent variables. The study population was 1263 patients with histologically confirmed GBM. Carbamazepine was the most frequently prescribed AED to patients diagnosed with GBM during 2004-2006, while levetiracetam was increasingly prescribed to patients diagnosed later. Taking AEDs on a reimbursement code of epilepsy was not beneficial for survival. None of the six AEDs valproate, levetiracetam, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine or phenytoin significantly altered overall survival. There has been a shift in the prescriptions of AEDs to GBM patients from older to newer AEDs over time. We found no significant survival benefit in GBM patients neither from treatment with AEDs for epilepsy in general, nor from the usage of six separate AEDs.
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Amitriptyline, lamotrigine, and gabapentin provide a more favorable efficacy and safety profile than the classic antiepileptic drugs carbamazepine and phenytoin, for which no placebo-controlled evidence of efficacy was found. Clinical trials are urgently needed to optimize pharmacologic treatment of CPSP.
38 patients were randomly divided into two groups, one given LTG (n = 18) and the other given LTG + VPA(n = 20). The first group consisted of 10 females (32.50 +/- 12.46 years old, 67.80 +/- 15.18 kg) and 8 males (24.88 +/- 8.92 years old, 69.88 +/- 11.41 kg) and the second group consisted of 9 females (28.33 +/- 6.52 years old, 62.89 +/- 13.28 kg) and 11 males (37.64 +/- 10.43 years old, 85.64 +/- 15.4 kg). Patients were either administered an oral dose of LTG (157 +/- 74 mg/day) or LTG + VPA (150 +/- 83.11 mg/day & 774 +/- 330 mg/day respectively). LTG steady state serum concentrations were determined 1.5-8 h post dose. Analyses were performed by a validated HPLC method.
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The mean steady-state plasma concentration of lamotrigine (LTG) was 13 micro mol/L in 22 women taking LTG in combination oral contraceptives (OC) compared with 28 micro mol/L among 30 women on LTG who did not take OC (p < 0.0001). The LTG dose/body weight/plasma concentration was 2.1 L/kg/day in women on OC compared with 0.8 L/kg/day in women without OC (p < 0.0001), indicating that LTG plasma levels are reduced by >50% during OC co-medication. It is advisable to monitor LTG plasma levels in conjunction with initiation or withdrawal of OC in women on LTG therapy.
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Approximately 60-80% of girls with Rett Syndrome (RTT) have epilepsy, which represents one of the most severe problems clinicians have to deal with, especially when patients are 7-12years old. The aim of this study was to analyze the antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) prescribed in RTT, and to assess their effectiveness and tolerability in different age groups from early infancy to adulthood. We included in this study 104 girls, aged 2-42years (mean age 13.9years): 89 had a mutation in MECP2, 5 in CDKL5, 2 in FOXG1, and the mutational status was unknown in the remaining 8. Epilepsy was present in 82 patients (79%). Mean age at epilepsy onset was 4.1years. We divided the girls into 5 groups according to age: <5, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20years and older. Valproic acid (VPA) was the most prescribed single therapy in young patients (<15years), whereas carbamazepine (CBZ) was preferred by clinicians in older patients. The most frequently adopted AED combination in the patients younger than 10years and older than 15 was VPA and lamotrigine (LTG). Seizures in the group aged 10-14years were the most difficult to treat, requiring a mean of three different AEDs, often used in combination and mostly including VPA. Seizures in fifteen patients (18%) were considered drug resistant. VPA was reported as the most effective AED in younger girls (in 40% of the patients aged <5years, in 19% of the girls aged 5-9years), and CBZ the most effective in the patients 15years or older. Adverse reactions did not differ from expected: agitation, drowsiness, and weight loss were the most frequently reported. In our sample, LTG was the least tolerated AED. We did not find correlations with MECP2 mutations in terms of effectiveness or adverse reactions.
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Pharmacokinetic interactions can make necessary anti-epileptic medication (AED) changes hazardous for children with epilepsy. We report the utility of a dosing algorithm designed to maintain stable trough lamotrigine (LTG) concentrations during conversion from valproate (VPA) to LTG monotherapy in adolescents aged 16-20 years.
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Previous reports characterized the effects of administration of single oral doses of antiepileptic drugs (AED) on cortical excitability. However, AED effects on cortical excitability, and their relationship to plasma blood levels, during chronic drug administration at therapeutic doses are not known. The objective of the study was to determine whether plasma blood levels during chronic administration at therapeutic doses would accurately predict changes in corticomotor excitability.
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We included all clinical randomised trials comparing lamotrigine with placebo or other antipsychotic augmentation strategies.
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The authors believe this to be the first double-blind placebo-controlled randomization study to test the efficacy of lamotrigine in the management of outpatients with DPDs. These need to be replicated in a larger study group.
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To investigate the efficacy and safety of lamotrigine monotherapy in children with epilepsy via a systematic review.
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The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is to promote and modulate neuronal responses across neurotransmitter systems in the brain. Therefore, abnormal BDNF signaling may be associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Low BDNF levels have been reported in brains and serums of patients with psychotic disorders. In the present study, we investigated the effects of antiepileptic drugs on BDNF in developing rats. Pregnant rats were treated with phenytoin (PHT), lamotrigine (LTG) and folic acid for long-term, all through their gestational periods. Experimental epilepsy (EE) model was applied in pregnant rats. Epileptic seizures were determined with electroencephalography. After birth, serum BDNF levels were measured in 136 newborn rats on postnatal day (PND) 21 and postnatal day 38. In postnatal day 21, serum BDNF levels of experimental epilepsy group were significantly lower compared with PHT group. This decrease is statistically significant. Serum BDNF levels increased in the group LTG. This increase compared with LTG+EE group was statistically significant. In the folic acid (FA) group, levels of serum BDNF decreased statistically significantly compared to the PHT group. On postnatal day 38, no significant differences were found among the groups for serum BDNF levels. We concluded that, the passed seizures during pregnancy adversely affect fetal brain development, lowering of serum BDNF levels. PHT use during pregnancy prevents seizure-induced injury by increasing the levels of BDNF. About the increase level of BDNF, LTG is much less effective than PHT, the positive effect of folic acid on serum BDNF levels was not observed. LTG increase in BDNF is much less effective than PHT, folic acid did not show a positive effect on serum BDNF levels. Epilepsy affects fetal brain development during gestation in pregnant rats, therefore anti-epileptic therapy should be continued during pregnancy.
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Lamotrigine is an ideal alternative drug for children who do not respond to traditional antiepileptic medication or experience significant adverse reactions; however, more high-quality RCTs with a large sample size and a long follow-up time are needed to confirm these conclusions.
These results suggest a potential role for HCN channels in regulation of glucagon secretion via modulating Ca(2+) and Na(+) channel activities.
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The effect of a single oral dose of various antiepileptic drugs on the excitability of the motor system was studied in healthy volunteers by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation. Motor threshold, duration of the cortical silent period, and intracortical excitability after double-shock transcranial stimulation were tested before and at defined intervals after drug intake. Antiepileptic drugs that support the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the neocortex (vigabatrin, baclofen) reduced intracortical excitability but had no effect on motor threshold. Gabapentin, whose mechanism of action has not yet been unequivocally identified, showed a similar profile. By contrast, sodium and calcium channel blockers without considerable neurotransmitter properties (carbamazepine, lamotrigine, losigamone) elevated motor threshold but did not change intracortical excitability. The cortical silent period was lengthened by gabapentin and carbamazepine. Changes in peripheral motor excitability (maximum M wave, peripheral silent period) were not observed. We conclude that the changes in intracortical excitability are caused by GABA-controlled interneuronal circuits in the motor cortex while changes in motor threshold are dependent on ion channel conductivity and may reflect membrane excitability. Transcranial magnetic stimulation may be a promising noninvasive approach to study the selective effects of antiepileptic drugs on brain function.