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Epilepsia. 1992 May-Jun;33(3):564-72.

A neuropharmacological evaluation of felbamate as a novel anticonvulsant.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84108.


Felbamate (2-phenyl-1,3-propanediol dicarbamate, FBM) was subjected to a series of carefully selected in vivo and in vitro tests to provide additional insight into mechanism of action, margin of safety, and clinical potential. FBM was effective against intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced clonus and i.c.v. NMDA- and quisqualic acid (quis)-induced forelimb tonic extension in mice and ineffective against i.c.v. quis-induced clonus in mice. FBM was also effective in preventing the expression of Stage 5 kindled seizures in corneal-kindled rats. The calculated protective indices (rotorod median toxic dose divided by anticonvulsant median effective dose) ranged from 28 to 146 for those tests in which FBM displayed activity. With the in vitro tests, FBM did not significantly displace [3H]MK-801 from its binding site. In contrast, FBM was effective in blocking sustained repetitive firing in mouse spinal cord neurons grown in tissue culture (median inhibitory concentration 67 micrograms/ml). This effect on repetitive firing suggests indirectly that FBM modulates sodium channel conductance. The results, when compared to similar data for phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproate, and ethosuximide, support the concept that FBM is a relatively nontoxic agent with a unique profile of anticonvulsant action, a broad margin of safety, and a clinical potential that includes at least generalized tonic-clonic and complex partial seizures.

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