Update on treatment of partial onset epilepsy: role of eslicarbazepine
Markus Rauchenzauner1,2, Gerhard Luef3
1Department of Pediatrics IV, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria; 2Neuropediatric Department, Schön Klinik Vogtareuth, Vogtareuth, Germany; 3Department of Neurology, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
Abstract: Partial epilepsy comprises simple partial seizures, complex partial seizures, and
secondarily generalized seizures, and covers more than 60% of patients with epilepsy. Antiepileptic drugs are generally considered to be the major therapeutic intervention for epilepsy but, despite a broad range of commonly used antiepileptic drugs, approximately 30% of adult patients and approximately 25% of children with epilepsy have inadequate seizure control. Eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) is a novel voltage-gated sodium channel-blocking agent with presumed good safety and efficacy for adjunctive treatment of patients with drug-resistant partial epilepsy. ESL is a prodrug of eslicarbazepine (the active entity responsible for pharmacologic effects), and is rapidly and extensively hydrolyzed during first pass by liver esterases after oral administration. The half-life of eslicarbazepine at steady-state plasma concentrations is 20–24 hours, compatible with once-daily administration. ESL 800 mg and 1200 mg significantly reduces seizure frequency and shows a favorable safety profile in adult patients with drug-resistant partial-onset seizures, as demonstrated in previous Phase II and III trials. In children, ESL showed a clear dose-dependent decrease in seizure frequency with good tolerability. The most commonly reported adverse events associated with ESL are dizziness, somnolence, nausea, diplopia, headache, vomiting, blurred vision, vertigo, and fatigue. In conclusion, these characteristics suggest that ESL might be a valid and well tolerated treatment option for patients with drug-resistant partial-onset epilepsy. The convenience of once-daily dosing and a short, simple titration regimen would be of special interest for children, although conclusive published data are lacking to date. Hence, there is an urgent need to establish the therapeutic value of ESL in this special population in the near future.
Keywords: eslicarbazepine, partial epilepsy, drug-resistant, antiepileptic drugs
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