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Epilepsia. 1993 Mar-Apr;34(2):312-22.

Outcomes of add-on treatment with lamotrigine in partial epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Walton Hospital, Liverpool, England.


The need for new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and more sensitive methods of assessing their efficacy is well recognized. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lamotrigine (LTG), a potential new AED and to develop and test new outcome measures. A health-related quality of life (HRQL) model was developed which contains previously validated measures of anxiety, depression, happiness, overall mood, self-esteem, and mastery and a specifically designed seizure severity scale with patient- and caregiver-based components. This HRQL model was used in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study of LTG in 81 patients with refractory partial seizures. Seizure frequency was the primary measure and seizure severity and the HRQL were secondary measures of efficacy. The reduction in seizure frequency with LTG, relative to placebo, was 29.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.8%, 39.9%] for total seizure count, 33.4% (95% CI 14.8%, 47.9%) for complex partial seizures (CPS) and 20.3% (95% CI 0.3%, 36.2%) for secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS). However, although 41 patients elected to continue with LTG, only 11 experienced at least 50% reduction in total seizures, indicating that other factors influenced their decision. The score with LTG, relative to placebo, was significantly lower for the ictal (p = 0.017) and caregivers (p = 0.035) subscales of the seizure severity scale and significantly higher for happiness (p = 0.003) and mastery (p = 0.003). Simple correlation and multiple-regression analyses indicate that the effects on seizure frequency, seizure severity, and psychological variables appear to be independent of each other. This study indicates that LTG is effective in reducing seizure frequency and has additional favorable effects on seizure severity, mood, and perceived internal control. Some of the scales used indicate the potential of secondary measures of efficacy to enhance the sensitivity of trials of new AEDs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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