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The availability of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) has expanded the spectrum of medical treatment options in epilepsy. However, the development of ten new compounds (vigabatrin, felbamate, gabapentin, lamotrigine, topiramate, tiagabine, oxcarbazepine, levetiracetam, zonisamide, and pregabalin) has not changed the basic principles of epilepsy treatment. The choice of an AED depends upon seizure type or seizure syndrome, efficacy, safety, tolerability, patient age and gender, concomitant medication, and comorbid conditions. In general, most of the newer AEDs are not necessarily more effective but usually better tolerated than the traditional agents mainly because of their favorable pharmacokinetic profiles and fewer drug interactions. Because treatment options have been widened with the introduction of these new compounds, drug therapy can now be tailored to the requirements of the individual patient. Nevertheless, significant safety and efficacy issues continue to exist and there is a strong need for the development of even better agents. This clinical review focuses on current aspects of drug therapy in epilepsy.
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In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antidepressants, carbamazepine, chlorpromazine, clonazepam, cognitive therapy, education, family-focused psychoeducation, gabapentin, haloperidol, lamotrigine, lithium, olanzapine, psychological treatments, quetiapine, risperidone, topiramate, valproate, and ziprasidone.
Concomitant use of carbamazepine and indinavir may cause failure of antiretroviral therapy due to insufficient indinavir plasma concentrations. Drugs other than carbamazepine should be considered to prevent this interaction. Amitriptyline or gabapentin are alternatives for postherpetic neuralgia; valproic acid or lamotrigine are alternatives for seizures. When alternate drug therapy is not possible, dosage adjustments, therapeutic drug monitoring, and careful clinical observation may help reduce adverse clinical consequences.
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Lamotrigine (LTG) is an antiepileptic drug (AED) recently released in several countries. It is effective for a variety of seizure types in adults and children both as an add-on agent and in monotherapy, and is generally well tolerated. This report reviews the apparent risk factors for rash associated with LTG to determine whether and how the risk of serious rash can be minimized in practice.
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Four studies with a total of 145 participants were identified. Response rates were higher in patients treated with tranylcypromine (60.0%-80.7%; overall response rate, 73.7%) compared with placebo, imipramine, and lamotrigine (the latter as add-on to a mood stabilizer) (12.9%-47.6%; overall response rate, 27.5%). The overall switch rate was 6.3% for patients treated with tranylcypromine and 18.4% for patients in the control group.
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Drug hypersensitivity syndrome is among the most severe drug hypersensitivity reactions and in rare cases it may progress to hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Herein, we report a case of allopurinol-induced drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms complicated by hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
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Neurology service, inpatient hospitalization, and outpatient follow-up in a neurology clinic.
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The objective of this article is to assess whether SUNCT is a subset of SUNA or whether the two are separate syndromes and clarify the role of neurovascular compression.
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Dravet syndrome is a highly pharmaco-resistant form of epilepsy. Valproate and benzodiazepines are the first-line treatment but are usually insufficient therapeutic options. Lamotrigine, carbamazepine and high doses of intravenous phenobarbital can aggravate seizures and should be avoided. Topiramate, levetiracetam, bromide and ketogenic diet also provide substantial efficacy as adjunctive therapy and procedures. Stiripentol is the only new drug to demonstrate efficacy when combined with valproate and clobazam, as shown in two independent double-blind controlled trials dedicated to Dravet children. In order to avoid side effects (mainly loss of appetite and loss of weight) resulting from the inhibition of cytochromes P450 by stiripentol, the prescribed doses of valproate and clobazam should be reduced. Stiripentol has a proper antiepileptic effect and enhances GABAergic neurotransmission by acting on the alpha-3 subunit of GABA(A) receptors. Stiripentol was approved as an orphan drug in Europe in 2007 for adjunctive therapy in Dravet syndrome. More than 500 Dravet patients have currently been satisfactorily treated and recent experiments in Japan have confirmed stiripentol's benefit. In practice, valproate should be initiated at the first onset of complicated febrile seizure in Dravet patients. Relapses justify the addition of clobazam and stiripentol when available. Topiramate and a ketogenic diet are alternatives in pharmaco-resistant cases.
Tolerability and safety are important considerations in optimising pharmacotherapy for bipolar disorder. This paper reviews the tolerability and safety of lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant recommended in the 2002 American Psychiatric Association guidelines as a first-line treatment for acute depression in bipolar disorder and one of several options for maintenance therapy. This paper reviews the tolerability and safety of lamotrigine using data available from a large programme of eight placebo-controlled clinical trials of lamotrigine enrolling a total of nearly 1800 patients with bipolar disorder. This review is the first to collate all the safety information from these clinical trials, including data from four unpublished studies. The results these trials in which 827 patients with bipolar disorder were given lamotrigine as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for up to 18 months for a total of 280 patient-years of exposure demonstrated that lamotrigine is well-tolerated with an adverse-event profile generally comparable with that of placebo. The most common adverse event with lamotrigine was headache. Lamotrigine did not appear to destabilise mood and was not associated with sexual adverse effects, weight gain, or withdrawal symptoms. Few patients experienced serious adverse events with lamotrigine, and the incidence of withdrawals because of adverse events was low. Serious rash occurred rarely (0.1% incidence) in the clinical development programme including both controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials. These findings - considered in the context of data showing lamotrigine to be effective for bipolar depression - establish lamotrigine as a well-tolerated addition to the psychotropic armamentarium.
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To analyze the cost of monotherapeutic treatment of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy.
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Reductions in LTG serum levels are a relevant contributing factor for early postoperative seizures. Postoperative alteration of the gastrointestinal motility and transient time leading to delayed absorption and reduced bioavailability of AED may be a major risk factor. Therefore, close monitoring of postoperative LTG serum levels is necessary and should lead to a temporary dose augmentation and/or anticonvulsant co-medication with benzodiazepines in case of a pronounced reduction of serum levels.