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      Development of lacosamide for the treatment of partial-onset seizures


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          Lacosamide is an antiepileptic drug (AED) available in multiple formulations that was first approved in 2008 as adjunctive therapy for partial-onset seizures (POS) in adults. Unlike traditional sodium channel blockers affecting fast inactivation, lacosamide selectively enhances sodium channel slow inactivation. This mechanism of action results in stabilization of hyperexcitable neuronal membranes, inhibition of neuronal firing, and reduction in long-term channel availability without affecting physiological function. Lacosamide has a well-characterized and favorable pharmacokinetic profile, including a fast absorption rate, minimal or no interaction with cytochrome P-450 izoenzymes, and a low potential for drug–drug interactions. Lacosamide clinical development included three placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trials conducted in more than 1300 patients, each demonstrating safety and efficacy of lacosamide compared to placebo as adjunctive therapy for adults with POS. The clinical use of lacosamide may broaden, pending results of trials evaluating its use as monotherapy for POS in adults, as treatment for epilepsy in pediatric subjects, and as adjunctive treatment for uncontrolled primary generalized tonic–clonic seizures in those with idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

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            The investigational anticonvulsant lacosamide selectively enhances slow inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels.

            We hypothesized that lacosamide modulates voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) at clinical concentrations (32-100 muM). Lacosamide reduced spiking evoked in cultured rat cortical neurons by 30-s depolarizing ramps but not by 1-s ramps. Carbamazepine and phenytoin reduced spike-firing induced by both ramps. Lacosamide inhibited sustained repetitive firing during a 10-s burst but not within the first second. Tetrodotoxin-sensitive VGSC currents in N1E-115 cells were reduced by 100 muM lacosamide, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenytoin from V(h) of -60 mV. Hyperpolarization (500 ms) to -100 mV removed the block by carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenytoin but not by lacosamide. The voltage-dependence of activation was not changed by lacosamide. The inactive S-stereoisomer did not inhibit VGSCs. Steady-state fast inactivation curves were shifted in the hyperpolarizing direction by carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenytoin but not at all by lacosamide. Lacosamide did not retard recovery from fast inactivation in contrast to carbamazepine. Carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenytoin but not lacosamide all produced frequency-dependent facilitation of block of a 3-s, 10-Hz pulse train. Lacosamide shifted the slow inactivation voltage curve in the hyperpolarizing direction and significantly promoted the entry of channels into the slow inactivated state (carbamazepine weakly impaired entry into the slow inactivated state) without altering the rate of recovery. Lacosamide is the only analgesic/anticonvulsant drug that reduces VGSC availability by selective enhancement of slow inactivation but without apparent interaction with fast inactivation gating. The implications of this unique profile are being explored in phase III clinical trials for epilepsy and neuropathic pain.
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              Efficacy and safety of oral lacosamide as adjunctive therapy in adults with partial-onset seizures.

              To evaluate the efficacy and safety of lacosamide when added to 1 or 2 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in adults with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures, and assess plasma concentrations of concomitant AEDs to determine any potential for drug interactions. During this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients were randomized to placebo or lacosamide 200, 400, or 600 mg/day after an 8-week baseline period. Lacosamide was titrated in weekly increments of 100 mg/day over 6 weeks and maintained for 12 weeks. Results were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Four hundred eighteen patients were randomized and received trial medication; 312 completed the trial. The median percent reduction in seizure frequency per 28 days was 10%, 26%, 39%, and 40% in the placebo, lacosamide 200, 400, and 600 mg/day treatment groups, respectively. The median percent reduction in seizure frequency over placebo was significant for lacosamide 400 mg/day (p=0.0023) and 600 mg/day (p=0.0084). The 50% responder rates were 22%, 33%, 41%, and 38% for placebo, lacosamide 200, 400, and 600 mg/day, respectively. The 50% responder rate over placebo was significant for lacosamide 400 mg/day (p=0.0038) and 600 mg/day (p=0.0141). Adverse events that appeared dose-related included dizziness, nausea, fatigue, ataxia, vision abnormal, diplopia, and nystagmus. Lacosamide did not affect mean plasma concentrations of concomitantly administered AEDs. In this trial, adjunctive lacosamide significantly reduced seizure frequency in patients with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures. Along with favorable pharmacokinetic and tolerability profiles, these results support further development of lacosamide as an AED.

                Author and article information

                Ann N Y Acad Sci
                Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci
                Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                July 2013
                16 July 2013
                : 1291
                : 1
                : 56-68
                [1 ]UCB Pharma Raleigh, North Carolina
                [2 ]UCB Pharma Brussels, Belgium
                [3 ]UCB Pharma Smyrna, Georgia
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Pamela Doty, UCB Pharma, 8010 Arco Corporate Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27617. pamela.doty@ 123456ucb.com
                © 2013 The New York Academy of Sciences

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

                Original Articles


                lacosamide, partial-onset seizures, epilepsy, antiepileptic drug


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