A new drug called Eslicarbazepine (ESL) shows promise as a treatment for epilepsy patients whose symptoms remain uncontrolled with existing medications.
The study published in the latest issue of Epilepsia.
A once-daily dose was shown to be most effective, offering patients added convenience as current treatments can involve several doses per day.
The trial was conducted across 19 locations in five European countries: Croatia, The Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania and Poland. Patients with at least four partial-onset seizures per month, in spite of treatment with other medications, were administered ESL doses ranging between 400mg and 1,200mg. The study demonstrates that ESL is well tolerated and effective when used as adjunct therapy for adult patients with partial epilepsy, fully eliminating seizures in 24 percent of tested patients. The occurrence of side effects was also low compared to other current treatment methods.
No age- or gender-related differences were found in the effectiveness of the treatment. “Our study shows that ESL was safe and well tolerated,” says Patr?cio Soares-da-Silva, co-author of the study. “We believe that ESL may have the potential to become an important new central nervous system drug not only for the treatment of epilepsy, but also for patients suffering from bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain.”
The words “epilepsy” and “epileptic” are of Greek origin and have the same root as the verb “epilambanein,” which means “to seize” or “to attack.” Therefore, epilepsy means seizure, while epileptic means seized. In the modern understanding of epilepsy, it should not be considered a disease. Rather, it is a symptom indicating a medical condition in the brain that causes a potential for recurrent seizures. The condition of epilepsy has many causes and the kinds of seizures that occur can vary widely.