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Adjunctive Drug Helpful in Controlling Epileptic Seizures

Last Updated: October 04, 2010.

Patients taking rufinamide in addition to their regular antiepileptic medication experience a significant reduction in total partial seizures, according to research published online Sept. 30 in Epilepsia.

MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking rufinamide in addition to their regular antiepileptic medication experience a significant reduction in total partial seizures, according to research published online Sept. 30 in Epilepsia.

Victor Biton, M.D., of the Arkansas Epilepsy Program in Little Rock, and colleagues randomized 357 patients to rufinamide or placebo to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug in treating inadequately-controlled partial-onset seizures in people receiving maintenance therapy of up to three antiepileptic drugs.

The researchers found that the 176 patients receiving rufinamide were more than twice as likely to experience a reduction in partial seizure frequency by 50 percent or more compared with the placebo group (32.5 versus 14.3 percent). The treatment group also experienced a greater reduction in median total partial seizure rate per 28 days during the maintenance phase of the trial (13.2 versus 5.2). Adverse events, which included dizziness, fatigue, nausea, somnolence, and diplopia, occurred at an incident rate at least 5 percent higher in the treatment group.

"Adjunctive treatment with rufinamide reduced total partial seizures in refractory patients. Adverse events reported were consistent with the known tolerability profile of rufinamide," the authors write.

Study sponsored by Eisai Medical Research; editorial support funded by Eisai Inc.; several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies, including Eisai.

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