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Is Lamotrigine Safe in Pregnancy?

Researchers evaluated the safety of the anti-epileptic medication, lamotrigine use during pregnancy on newborns and child development.   Most of the current evidence on antiepileptic drug (AED) use in pregnant women and the resulting increased incidence of child malformation and neurodevelopmental delay refers to the older generation of AEDs. Lamotrigine is a newer generation AED that is effective in treating a wide range of epileptic disorders and is generally well-tolerated and safe. Since there is currently no consensus on lamotrigine use in pregnancy and its impact on child malformations and neurodevelopment, researchers recently evaluated the impact of lamotrigine in children who were exposed to the drug in utero, that is, before birth.

Scientists developing a pharmaceutical that stops convulsions

Scientists from RUDN University took an active part in the development of a chemical compound to stop convulsions during epileptic seizures. The results of the study were published in Chirality.   Epilepsy is a chronic neuralgic disease that causes convulsive seizures in humans and other animals. The pathogenesis of this disease is paroxysmal discharges in the nerve cells of the brain that cause convulsions. Anticonvulsants help to stop the epileptic fit. The drug itself is a powder that is dissolved in water and injected into a person experiencing such a seizure.

FDA Approves Oral Lacosamide (Vimpat) for Children With Epilepsy

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved use of the antiepileptic drug lacosamide (Vimpat, UCB) in tablets and oral solution (not intravenous injection) in children as young as 4 years with partial-onset seizures (POS), the company has announced. The FDA approved lacosamide in 2009 as adjunctive therapy and 2014 as monotherapy for adults with POS.   The expanded FDA indication for lacosamide as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in children from age 4 years is based on the principle of extrapolation of its efficacy data from adults to children and is supported by safety and pharmacokinetics data collected in children, the company said in a news release. Adverse reactions in pediatric patients are similar to those seen in adult patients, they note.

Funnel web spiders’ ‘beautiful molecules’ show promise for treating epilepsy, stroke

Several new Australian-developed medicines showing promise treating childhood epilepsy, stroke and autoimmune diseases have emerged from an unusual source: the fangs of venomous creatures. Big pharmaceutical companies are excited by results showing these new venom-drugs are often superior to man-made drugs, and they are starting to pour money into research.

Zogenix Announces Positive Top-line Results from Pivotal Phase 3 Clinical Trial of ZX008 in Dravet Syndrome

Zogenix, Inc., a pharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of rare central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today reported positive top-line results from its first Phase 3 trial (Study 1) for its investigational drug, ZX008 (low-dose fenfluramine hydrochloride), for the treatment of Dravet syndrome. The trial met its primary objective of demonstrating that ZX008, at a dose of 0.8 mg/kg/day, is superior to placebo as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of Dravet syndrome in children and young adults based on change in the frequency of convulsive seizures between the 6-week baseline observation period and the 14-week treatment period (p<0.001).  ZX008 0.8 mg/kg/day also demonstrated statistically significant improvements versus placebo in all key secondary measures, inc...

Zynerba’s cannabis-based epilepsy gel fails in phase 2 trial

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals has reported that its cannabis-based epilepsy gel ZYN002 (cannabidiol [CBD] gel) has failed to meet the primary point in a phase 2 clinical trial. The trial dubbed as STAR 1 was held in 188 adult epilepsy patients with focal seizures across 14 sites in Australia and New Zealand. When compared to placebo, ZYN002 during the treatment period could not show a statistically significant decrease in focal seizures in comparison to the baseline period for either the high or low dose cohorts. STAR expands to Synthetic Transdermal Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy. The patients in the phase 2 trial were randomized to be treated during a 12-week period for every 12 hours with either 195mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel, 97.5mg of ZYN002 4.2% CBD gel or placebo gel. The primary...

Compound derived from marijuana interacts with anti-epileptic drugs

New research published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggests that an investigational neurological treatment derived from cannabis may alter the blood levels of commonly used anti-epileptic drugs. It is important for clinicians to consider such drug interactions during treatment of complex conditions.

Pairnomix, StemoniX Develop Epilepsy Model in Search for New Anti-seizure Drugs

Pairnomix has joined efforts with StemoniX to develop a lab-based model of epileptic seizures using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The model, which researchers refer to as a “seizure-in-a-dish” model system, will allow scientists to study seizures at a network level. In this way, they can use the model to screen for anti-epileptic drugs in a fast and easy manner. Minneapolis-based Pairnomix has expertise in epilepsy models, while San Diego-based StemoniX has developed the microBrain Platform. The model mirrors tissue architecture in the brain, with nerve cells connecting to each other through synapses, forming functional networks. For brain diseases such as epilepsy, iPSCs are invaluable research tools. These cells can be derived from skin tissue, and are forced to backt...

Data Lacking to Explain Why US Doctors Prefer Keppra to Treat Pediatric Epilepsy

Doctors have several anti-seizure options to treat epilepsy, but little data exists to show which of these treatments is best for children. Nevertheless, according to a recent study on therapies prescribed for children under 3 with epilepsy, doctors in the U.S. appear to prefer Keppra (levetiracetam) as either a first or second option for treatment.

Nearly Half of Persons With Epilepsy Forget to Take Their Meds at Least Once a Month, Poll Shows

Almost half of epilepsy patients surveyed in a British poll say they’ve forgotten to take their medications at least once in the past month. Researchers at Epilepsy Research UK wanted to know how meticulously people receiving their newsletter adhere to medication regimes. They stress, however, that these results pertain to a sample of 125 respondents and that the poll is still active. Medication adherence is an important healthcare problem worldwide. According to a news release, across all fields of medicine, up to 75 percent of people don’t take their medicines properly. In epilepsy, forgetting to take anti-epileptic drugs could lead to seizures. Respondents were asked to estimate for themselves how many times in the last month they had forgotten to take their medication at all – or had t...

Valproic Acid Concentration Drops With Ketogenic Diet

For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet, apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. Changes in serum concentrations of other anti-epileptic drugs not found to be significant. For patients with epilepsy, anti-epileptic drug serum concentrations remain stable during the ketogenic diet (KD), apart from those of valproic acid, according to a study published online June 18 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Epilepsy and natural treatments: Can they help?

Epilepsy is a disease that disrupts the electrical activity of the nervous system, causing seizures. More than 65 million people in the world have epilepsy. 1 in 26 Americans will develop the disease during their lives. Children are the group most frequently diagnosed with new cases of epilepsy. In the United States, 300,000 children under 14 are affected by the condition. Some may outgrow the disorder, but most will not. The number of senior citizens with epilepsy is also 300,000. People with epilepsy have a range of treatment options, including alternative therapies. The illness is a complex condition, however, and all alternative treatment options must be looked at carefully, to ensure they are effective. Causes of epilepsy Epilepsy is a complex disease that can disrupt the electrical a...

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