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This evidence-based guideline is an update of the 2005 American Academy of Neurology practice parameter on the treatment of essential tremor (ET).
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25 microliters plasma, 25 microliters internal standard and 5 microliters sodium dihydrogenphosphate solution are extracted with 100 microliters ethyl acetate. 40 microliters of the extract are mixed with 10 microliters trimethyl-phenyl-ammoniumhydroxide (0.1 mol/l methanol). 3 microliters of this solution are injected for gas chromatography using a nitrogen-specific detector. Trimethyl-phenyl-ammoniumacetate appears to be a satisfactory methylating agent for these drugs in the injection port of the gas chromatograph.
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Our study showed that primidone is tolerable in MS patients and effectively reduces severe cerebellar tremor in such patients.
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Three authors independently selected studies for inclusion. Five authors completed data extraction and risk of bias assessments. The primary outcome was the presence of a major congenital malformation. Secondary outcomes included specific types of major congenital malformations. Where meta-analysis was not possible, we reviewed included studies narratively.
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One in every 250 newborns is exposed to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in utero. Various studies have attributed a teratogenic effect to these AEDs, mainly consisting of major malformations, minor anomalies, intrauterine or postnatal growth failure, and psychomotor retardation. Prospective studies confirm the increased risk of major malformations. The absolute risk of 7-10% is about 3-5% higher than that in the general population. Barbiturates and phenytoin (PHT) are particularly associated with congenital heart malformations, facial clefts, and some other malformations. Valproate (VPA) and carbamazepine (CBZ) are associated predominantly with spina bifida aperta (1-2 and 0.5-1.0% risk, respectively) and hypospadias. Bilateral radial aplasia is a rare but specific effect of VPA. Several studies identified additional risk factors, i.e., high daily AED dosage, high maternal serum AED concentrations, low folate levels, or polytherapy [phenobarbital (PB) plus primidone (PRM) plus PHT or CBZ plus VPA plus PB with or without PHT]. The few prospective studies controlled for socioeconomic factors or that considered parental findings indicate that risk of specific cognitive defects rather than risk of overall mental retardation may be increased, that early growth retardation is followed by a catch-up growth to normal, and that ocular hypertelorism and nail hypoplasia are the only minor anomalies causally related to PHT exposure. However, no final conclusions can be made. Genetic predisposition to the teratogenic side effects of AEDs plays a role, codetermining the recurrence risk if the woman has previously given birth to a child with a major malformation. The molecular genetic basis of this predisposition is unclear.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Valproate is extensively metabolized in the liver and at least six main pathways which produce about 50 metabolites have been identified in man. The enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs phenobarbital, primidone, phenytoin and carbamazepine increase total valproate clearance by 30-85%, whereas cimetidine and the new anticonvulsant compound striripentol display a small inhibitory effect (10-20%). Both carbamazepine and phenytoin induce a two-fold increase in the formation of delta 4-valproate and stimulate omega-oxidation and omega-1-oxidation. Acetylsalicylic acid causes a fall of 60-70% in the content in the urine of the metabolites of the beta-oxidative pathway, i.e. delta 2-valproate, 3-OH-valproate and 3-oxo-valproate, and an increase of glucuronidation (approximately 30%) and delta-dehydrogenation (approximately 20%). Stiripentol inhibits the formation clearance of delta 4-valproate by 30%. In the light of the possible therapeutic and toxic effects of some valproate metabolites, drug interactions with valproate at metabolic level may have important clinical implications.
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The pharmacological treatment of essential tremor (ET) is not optimal. There are only two first-line medications and troublesome side effects are common. It is not uncommon for patients to simply stop taking medication. Yet, no published data substantiate or quantify this anecdotal impression.
We used Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy and Medicare data (1999-2004) to identify patients 66 years and older with new-onset epilepsy. High quality care was defined as avoiding a suboptimal agent (phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone) as defined by experts. Predictors included demographic and clinical characteristics, and the context of the initial seizure diagnosis including the setting (e.g. emergency, neurology, hospital, primary care). We used mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression modeling to identify predictors of initial seizure diagnosis in a neurology setting, and receipt of a suboptimal AED.
Since 1993, eight new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have become available in the United States for the treatment of epilepsy: felbamate, gabapentin, lamotrigine, topiramate, tiagabine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, and zonisamide. Of the older AEDs, six continue to be widely used: phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, ethosuximide, carbamazepine, and valproate. As a result, there is a relatively large number of alternative AEDs for the treatment of any given type of epilepsy. This has been particularly beneficial for patients with generalized epilepsies, both idiopathic and symptomatic. Given the wide availability of effective agents, the toxicity and pharmacokinetic profile of an AED have become major factors in the selection process. A number of common clinical situations may benefit from the abundance of AEDs. Chronic toxicity observed with some of the older AEDs such as osteoporosis, gingival hyperplasia, or alterations in reproductive endocrine function may be avoided with the use of the newer agents. The obese patient with epilepsy may benefit from the use of AEDs such as topiramate or zonisamide, which have a tendency to produce weight loss. In patients with a history of drug-induced skin rash, AEDs such as valproate, gabapentin, topiramate, tiagabine, and levetiracetam carry a lower risk of cross-reactivity. In patients sensitive to cognitive dysfunction, drugs with a favorable profile include gabapentin, tiagabine, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, and levetiracetam. A more favorable pharmacokinetic profile is observed in the majority of the newer AEDs in contraposition to the classic agents. Good absorption, linear kinetics, and low drug-drug interaction potential make these drugs easier to use. The newer AEDs are eliminated through different combinations of liver metabolism and direct renal excretion, thus providing a wider variety of choices in patients with failure of one of these organs. Some specific problems have been found with some of the newer AEDs. Hyponatremia, known to occur rarely with carbamazepine use, appears to be more common with oxcarbazepine. Felbamate has been associated with a high incidence of aplastic anemia and liver failure and should be used exceptionally. Acute angle closure glaucoma has been observed with the use of topiramate. This complication occurs early in the course of therapy and reverses rapidly with discontinuation of the drug, so physician and patient awareness of this problem is very important. In this article several common clinical situations in the management of patients with epilepsy are presented in the form of case studies. These cases illustrate some current aspects of the use of the AEDs and will give some guidelines to help the treating physician in the increasingly complex process of AED selection.
Orthostatic tremor (OT) is a clinically defined syndrome of leg tremor while standing. Controversy surrounds whether OT is a distinct syndrome or is an essential tremor (ET) variant. We report two patients with OT. Electrophysiological testing included polymyography, accelerometry, nerve conduction, and evoked potential studies. The effects of various maneuvers and body positions on the tremor were assessed. The findings included rapid (15-17 Hz) lower-extremity tremor burst frequency evoked by standing but not by walking or swaying; rapid upper-extremity burst pattern synchronous with lower-extremity bursts; and failure of electrical stimulation or mental concentration to "reset" the tremor. Additionally, there was the novel finding of accelerometric recordings in the legs revealing the same rapid frequency (16-17 Hz) as the electromyographic tremor bursts. Some prior reports have suggested that OT is related to ET by emphasizing a considerable disparity and variability between the accelerometric tremor frequency and the electromyographic burst frequency. In our patients, however, the rapid (15-17 Hz) accelerometer-recorded tremor synchronous with the electromyographic bursts, and also the clinical improvement with clonazepam but not beta blockers or mysoline, and the lack of a family history of ET provide support that OT is distinct from ET.
The effects of placebo, propranolol and primidone were compared in 14 patients with essential tremor in a double blind, randomised, crossover study. Objective measures of tremor were obtained using an accelerometer with subsequent spectral analysis. Both propranolol (p less than 0.01) and primidone (p less than 0.01) gave significant improvement in tremor, but there was no significant difference in improvement between these drugs. Patients with higher dominant frequencies of tremor tended to respond to both drugs, while those with lower frequencies improved on one or other. There was no differential effect between the drugs with the frequency of tremor.
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Apnea and bradycardia decreased significantly 24 to 72 hours after initiation of primidone treatment (by 68% and 69%, respectively) compared with pretreatment events. We obtained similar results after a separate analysis of the 10 patients who had been weaned from assisted ventilation before treatment with primidone. No toxic reactions were observed.
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Aromatic anticonvulsant agents such as carbamazepine and phenytoin can induce anticonvulsant hypersensitivity syndrome (AHS) at a frequency of 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1,000 treated patients. The hypersensitivity syndrome is a potentially life-threatening adverse drug reaction with multiorgan involvement, and incidental reexposure must be strictly avoided. Patients and treating physicians must be informed and educated about the causal drug and its potential immunologic or toxicologic cross-reactivity with other compounds. It has been well established that for future antiepileptic drug therapy, carboxamides (carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine), phenytoin, and barbiturates (phenobarbital and primidone) have to be avoided owing to their high degree of cross-reactivity. Other anticonvulsant agents, such as valproic acid, benzodiazepines, and gabapentin, may be prescribed.
Large epidemiological databases facilitate the study of medical care in different subgroups of the population and how such care compares with standard treatment guidelines. This study aimed for such analyses regarding utilization of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for epilepsy in Germany.
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It is no longer acceptable to prescribe anticonvulsants on the basis of empirical rules. Pharmacological studies have made it possible to measure the absorption, distribution and excretion of these drugs. Complete understanding of this data is neccessary if anticonvulsant prescribing is to be fully effective and to avoid iatrogenic disease.
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Essential tremor (ET), traditionally considered benign, is a serious neurologic condition with life-altering repercussions. Its involuntary, rhythmic oscillations involve alternating, irregular, or simultaneous contractions of agonist and antagonist muscles. It is the most common of the 20 known tremor disorders and often confused with Parkinson's disease. Numerous drugs can aggravate ET, and alcohol consumption may alleviate it. Its etiology is unknown. Proven drug treatments are currently limited to propranolol and primidone. This article reviews ET with examples from history to demonstrate points.
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Antiepileptic drug (AED) selection is based primarily on efficacy for specific seizure types and epileptic syndromes. However, efficacy is often similar for the different AEDs, and other properties such as adverse effects, pharmacokinetic properties, and cost may also be of importance. For idiopathic generalized epilepsies with absence, tonic-clonic, and myoclonic seizures, the AED of choice is valproate (VPA). Secondarily generalized epilepsies with tonic, atonic, and other seizure types are difficult to treat with any single AED or combination of AEDs. The AEDs of choice for absence seizures are ethosuximide (ESM) and VPA. For control of primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, any of the other major AEDs can be effective. If VPA cannot be prescribed, carbamazepine (CBZ), phenobarbital (PB), phenytoin (PHT), or primidone (PRM) may be effective, but ESM or a benzodiazepine (BZD) must be added to control associated absence or myoclonic seizures. The AEDs of first choice for partial epilepsies with partial and secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures are CBZ and PHT. Increasing evidence suggests that VPA is a good alternative when CBZ and PHT fail. PB and PRM are second-choice selections because of adverse effects. A combination of two of the five standard AEDs may be necessary to treat intractable seizures, but no studies have been done to indicate an optimal combination. Other epilepsy syndromes such as neonatal and infantile epilepsies, febrile epilepsy, alcoholic epilepsy, and status epilepticus require specific AED treatment. Ultimately, AED selection must be individualized. No "drug of choice" can be named for all patients. The expected efficacy for the seizure type, the importance of the expected adverse effects, the pharmacokinetics, and the cost of the AEDs all must be weighed and discussed with the patient before a choice is made. A number of new AEDs with unique mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetic properties, and fewer adverse effects hold important promise of improved epilepsy treatment.
In two children treated for hypoglycemia and convulsions with diazoxide and diphenylhydantoin, therapeutic serum diphenylhydantoin levels were not achieved despite doses of diphenylhydantoin of 17 and 29 mg/kg/day, respectively. After diazoxide was discontinued, serum diphenylhydantoin levels were within the therapeutic range in each patient with doses of 6.6 and 10 mg/kg/day, respectively. Serum diphenylhydantoin fell to undetectable levels within four days after experimental reinitiation of diazoxide administration in one patient. Although the mechanism for the effect of diazoxide on serum concentrations of diphenylhydantoin is uncertain, an increased rate of metabolism of diphenylhydantoin is suggested by our findings. Decreased plasma protein binding of diphenylhydantoin, induced by diazoxide, was observed and may play a role.
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Electronic databases were searched which have provided more than 300 articles. These have been integrated with fundamental books and personal information by experts in the different areas examined.
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Extracranial metastasis of primary central nervous system neoplasms is uncommon and has not been described in the dog. We report the clincopathologic features of intracranial meningioma with pulmonary metastasis in three dogs (case No. 1: 13-year-old castrated male Boxer dog; case No. 2: 14-year-old spayed female Dachshund; case No. 3: 6-year-old spayed female German Shepherd Dog). Case No. 1 presented with ataxia, lethargy, vomiting, and leaning and falling to the right, and had a transient remission following radiation and corticosteroid therapy; case No. 2 had a history of seizures that were unresponsive to primidone, left-sided postural reaction deficits, ataxia, and circling to the right; case No. 3 had only intermittent episodes of vomiting Computed tomography of case Nos. 1 and 2 revealed peripherally located homogeneous contrast-enhancing intracranial masses. Postmortem examination revealed intracranial masses with single or multiple pulmonary nodules in all three cases. Histologically, the intracranial and pulmonary masses were meningotheliomatous meningiomas with atypical features including brain infiltration, necrosis, nuclear atypia, prominent nucleoli, and moderate cell density. All of the primary meningiomas had low mitotic rates. The current interest in early diagnosis and aggressive clinical/surgical management of canine patients with meningioma and other primary central nervous system neoplasms will likely result in an increased detection of extracranial metastases.
A variety of side effects developed in children treated with neuroleptics for Tourette's disorder. Of 208 children, 34 manifested dose-related symptoms of dysphoria, nine experienced a worsening of symptoms of Tourette's disorder that was attributed to akathisia, five became hostile and aggressive, three developed "fog states" that disappeared with discontinuation of neuroleptics or treatment with primidone, and three experienced symptoms of tardive dyskinesia that resolved with time. This data base of neuroleptic-treated children with Tourette's disorder demonstrates a variety of subtle and underrecognized side effects that may not be as readily discernible in children receiving neuroleptics for a primary psychiatric disorder.
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Permeability studies were carried out with three lipophilic drugs, namely, phenytoin and primidone (both widely used in the treatment of epilepsies and convulsive disorders), and dapsone (a sulfone antimicrobial agent used in the treatment of leprosy and to a lesser extent in dermatitis herpetiformis) through silica-filled poly(dimethyl siloxane) (Silastic) membranes, and anisotropic membranes of poly(ether-urethane)/poly(dimethyl siloxane) block copolymer (Avcothane, Cardiothane). These polymers are used in medical implants and in various cardiovascular devices. While both polymers were permeable to the drugs, the transport properties differed significantly. In the case of the poly(dimethyl siloxane) there was an initial large burst effect, followed by an exponential decrease in the rate of drugs released through the polymer films, although with dapsone the release rate became essentially constant between 100-180 h at 37 degrees C. In the case of the anisotropic films of the poly(ether-urethane)/poly(dimethyl siloxane) block copolymer, the permeabilities were much higher. Significantly, phenytoin exhibited essentially constant rate (zero-order) kinetics between 25-150 h, showing only a moderate burst effect that is probably not significant therapeutically. Importantly, dapsone showed neither a burst effect nor any significant time lag, and the release followed constant rate (zero-order) kinetics between 12-80 h, followed by only a moderate decrease in drug concentration up to 140 h (the experimental end-point). The diffusion coefficients calculated from initial desorption data at 37 degrees C for the poly(ether-urethane)/poly(dimethyl siloxane) block copolymer are as follows: phenytoin = 8.6 X 10(-9) cm2/s, primidone = 2.8 X 10(-9) cm2/s, and dapsone = 2.4 X 10(-8) cm2/s.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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A survey of 'steady-state' serum levels of anticonvulsant drugs from 221 epileptic patients at a university hospital was conducted. Serum concentrations of phenobarbital, primidone, and diphenylhydantoin were determined by a gas chromatographic method. Sixty-five percent (130) of the patients receiving diphenylhydantoin had levels below the therapeutic range of 10-20mug/ml. Subtherapeutic levels appear to be due to inadequate dosage adjustment. Only 25% (33) of the patients receiving phenobarbital had levels below the therapeutic range. Serum levels of diphenylhydantoin or phenobarbital could not be predicted from dosage. Most patients received two or more drugs. Over 10% of the patients had potentially toxic levels of anticonvulsant drugs. High levels of diphenylhydantoin were easily recognized clinically but high levels of phenobarbital were not.
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Anticonvulsant therapy was among the first areas to benefit from clinical pharmacokinetic studies. The most important advantage is that the frequent interindividual variation in the plasma level/dose ratio for these drugs can be circumvented by plasma level monitoring. For several anticonvulsants the brain concentration is shown to parallel the plasma concentration. Phenytoin (diphenylhydantoin) is stil the most important anticonvulsant and the one for which kinetics have been thoroughly investigated in man. These investigations have revealed several reasons for the wellknown difficulties in using this drug clinically. The absorption rate and fraction are very much dependent on the pharmaceutical preparation, and changes of brand may alter the plasma level of phenytoin in spite of unaltered dose. The elimination capacity is saturable causing dose dependent kinetics, which again means disproportional changes in plasma level with changes in dose. Great individual variations exist in the rate of metabolism, and several pharmacokinetic drug interactions are known. As an optimum therapeutic plasma concentration range has been established monitoring plasma levels must be strongly advocated. Interpretation of plasma levels in uraemic patients must take into account decreased protein binding of the drug. Carbamazepine is probably as effective as phenytoin. The elimination is a first order process, but the rate of metabolism increases after a few weeks' treatment. An active metabolite (epoxide) may be the cause of some side-effects. Combined treatment with other anticonvulsant drugs decreases the half-life and more frequent dosing may be necessary. An optimum therapeutic concentration range has been suggested and plasma monitoring is advocated, along with that of the active metabolite, the epoxide. Phenobarbitone is still much used but its kinetics have been investigated to a lesser extent. The main problem is the variability in the rate of elimination. In children the half-life of phenobarbitone is only half of that in adults. An optimum therapeutic plasma range has been established and monitoring is recommended. Primidone may have an anticonvulsant activity in itself, but its main metabolite is phenobarbitone. The relatively rapid elimination of primidone is offset by the long half-life of phenobarbitone. An optimum therapeutic range has been suggested, but plasma level monitoring must include determination of phenobarbitone. Ethosuximide. The clinical pharmacokinetics of this important petit mal anticonvulsant is not well known. It has a relatively long half-life (in adults 2 to 3 days; in children shorter). An optimum therapeutic range has been suggested, and routine monitoring of plasma levels may be recommended. Diazepam exerts a repid anticonvulsant activity when the plasma concentration exceeds approximately 500ng/ml after intravenous injection. The kinetic pattern is complex in man. Clonazepam. The clinical pharmacokinetics are still not fully investigated but a therapeutic range has been suggested...
Although anticonvulsant polytherapy has been widely and traditionally used in the treatment of epilepsy, there is little evidence of its advantages over monotherapy. It does, however, lead to problems of chronic toxicity, drug interactions, failure to evaluate individual drugs, and sometimes exacerbation of seizures. There are many causes of polytherapy which could be avoided by more careful monitoring and supervision of therapy. Studies in new, previously untreated referrals suggest there is considerable potential for monotherapy. In the event of failure of optimum monotherapy, the value of polytherapy is not yet clear. In chronic patients on polytherapy there may be scope for careful rationalization to two or sometimes one drug, with reduction in chronic toxicity and sometimes improved seizure control. Reduction of therapy, however, may be impossible or hazardous due to withdrawal seizures. Even after successful reduction, seizure control is much less satisfactory than in new referrals. It is easier to avoid polytherapy than to reduce it. There is a need to define more carefully the limits of effective anticonvulsant therapy.