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Seizure. 2006 Mar;15(2):73-8. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Pregabalin: a new antiepileptic drug for refractory epilepsy.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


Pregabalin is a recently licensed and marketed antiepileptic drug for use as adjunctive treatment of partial epilepsy. It acts at presynaptic calcium channels, modulating neurotransmitter release in the CNS, properties it shares with gabapentin. Its clinical development over the past decade has included its use in the treatment of neuropathic pain, and generalized anxiety disorder, in addition to epilepsy. Three multi-centre randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials enrolling patients with refractory partial epilepsy have demonstrated an antiepileptic effect of pregabalin against placebo, as adjunctive therapy, with 31-51% of patients showing a 50% reduction in seizure frequency. Adverse effects were dose related, the commonest being somnolence, dizziness, and ataxia. Weight gain was seen in 14% of patients on the highest dose of 600 mg/day. Around 9000 people have been exposed to pregabalin in its development for all indications. No idiosyncratic reactions have been described to date. Pregabalin may be a useful addition in the treatment of refractory partial epilepsy. As with all new AEDs long-term follow up and post marketing surveillance is required.

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