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Objective: To evaluate efficacy and tolerability of retigabine (ezogabine, US adopted name) in the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults. Retigabine is the first anticonvulsant in its class, decreasing neuronal excitability by opening voltage-gated potassium channels.
Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were systematically searched using search terms retigabine and ezogabine for randomized controlled trials published from 1980 through August 17, 2013. Additionally, articles relating to pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, tolerability and interactions were examined for inclusion. Published abstracts and websites of the Food and Drug Administration and European Medication Agency were reviewed for additional relevant information.
Results: One phase IIb and two phase III trials were identified. Retigabine has been reported to have dose dependent efficacy in adjunctive treatment of resistant partial-onset seizures in adults in doses of 600, 900 and 1200 mg/day. Similar to other anticonvulsants, the most common adverse events were central nervous system related. Retigabine has several unique adverse events compared to other anticonvulsants: urinary retention and, with extended use, pigment changes to the skin and retina. Retigabine is metabolized by glucuronidation and acetylation. There are few drug interactions with retigabine.
Conclusions: Retigabine has been shown to have efficacy when used as adjunctive therapy in partial-onset seizures. It has a novel mechanism of action, activation of voltage-gated potassium channels. It has less drug interactions than many other anticonvulsants because it is not metabolized through the P-450 system. Its place in therapy has yet to be determined, especially with recent reports of pigment discoloration of skin and the retina with extended use.
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