Once Daily Epilepsy Drug Deemed Non-Inferior to Twice-Daily Treatment

Eslicarbazepine acetate may help patients adhere to their medication schedule.

Once daily eslicarbazepine acetate was shown to be non-inferior to twice daily carbamazepine, according to a recent study.

Carbamazepine is acommon twice daily epilepsy drug for patients newly diagnosed with partial seizures that start in one area of the brain. "Seizure control is crucial," said study author Elinor Ben-Menachem, MD, of Gothenburg University in Sweden. "A once-a-day drug may help people stick to their medication schedule."

A study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th Annual Meeting enrolled 815 patients newly diagnosed with partial seizures. The patients received either eslicarbazepine acetate or carbamazepine for a duration of 6 months.

Patients started at the lowest dosing level and moved up only if they experienced seizures on the medication.

Researchers found that 71% of participants taking eslicarbazepine acetate and 76% of participants taking carbamazepine were seizure free after 6 months.

After 1 year, researchers found that 65% of participants taking eslicarbazepine acetate and 70% of participants taking carbamazepine were seizure-free.

Since the results were within 12% of each other, eslicarbazepine acetate is considered non-inferior or not clinically worse than the existing treatment.

"Memory issues, fatigue, or a complicated medication schedule can all interfere with a person taking their seizure-control medications on a regular basis so having a once-daily option for patients, especially when they are newly diagnosed and still learning to manage the disease, may be beneficial," said Ben-Menachem. "The hope is that these results may also give doctors more options to better tailor treatments for people with epilepsy."