The addition of eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) to standard therapy can help reduce the frequency of seizures in patients with drug-resistant partial epilepsy, according to a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Investigators evaluated 5 clinical trials that included patients receiving either ESL as an add-on treatment for drug-resistant partial epilepsy or placebo. Following analysis, the researchers found that the addition of ESL was associated with a ≥50% reduction in seizure frequency (risk ratio [RR] 1.71; 95% CI, 1.42-2.05). Additionally, increasing ESL dose corresponded with a ≥50% decrease in seizures (400 mg/day: RR 1.22; 95% CI, 0.80-1.85; 800 mg/day: RR 1.66; 95% CI, 1.34-2.07; 1200 mg/day: RR 1.92; 95% CI, 1.56-2.37).

There was a significant association between ESL and seizure freedom among all participants given the additional therapy (RR 2.90; 95% CI, 1.49-5.68). According to the researchers, the incidence of treatment-related adverse effects represented the primary reason for ESL discontinuation (RR 2.66; 95% CI, 1.42-4.96). Dizziness, diplopia, somnolence, nausea, and vomiting were the most common adverse effects experienced by patients receiving ESL.

This study included only adult patients with seizures and drug-resistant partial epilepsy, limiting the findings of this study to this specific subset. According to the investigators, further “research is needed to look at the long-term effects of ESL and to explore how well it works in children with epilepsy.”

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Reference

Chang XC, Yuan H, Wang Y, Xu HQ, Hong WK, Zheng RY. Eslicarbazepine acetate add-on for drug-resistant partial epilepsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;10:CD008907.