A new epilepsy drug approved for use in the UK has been found to reduce seizures by a third with side effects that have been described as “mild to moderate”.
Zebinix (eslicarbazepine acetate), developed by Bial and licensed to Eisai in Europe and Sepracor in the US and Canada, is a once-daily adjunctive treatment for partial-onset seizures.
The drug works by stabilising the inactivated state of voltage-gated sodium channels, preventing their return to the repetitive neuronal firing of the activated state.
The new drug must be added to existing therapies, and the dose increased gradually. It is intended for adults and not recommended for children.
It was developed from carbamazepine, and patients report improvements in health-related quality of life measures as well as lessening of the depression often associated with the condition.
Zebinix was approved after three phase III trials that showed significant and sustained reductions in seizure frequency and significant increases in responder rates.
Copyright Press Association 2009