Epilepsy patients whose symptoms remain uncontrolled with currently prescribed medication are being offered hope, by a new one.
Going by the views of researchers, the drug Eslicarbazepine or ESL, promises elimination of seizures in 24 percent of patients (as per lab results) as well as the convenience of once-daily doses and relatively minimal side effects.
The drug was developed by the Department of Research and Development at BIAL in Portugal. As a part of the study, trials were conducted across 19 locations in five European countries. Here patients with at least four partial-onset seizures per month (in spite of treatment with other medications) were administered ESL doses ranging between 400mg and 1,200mg.
It was found that ESL was well tolerated and effective when used as adjunct therapy for adult patients with partial epilepsy, fully eliminating seizures in 24 percent of tested patients. The occurrence of side effects was also low when compared to other current treatment methods.
It was also seen that there were no age- or gender-related differences in the effectiveness of the treatment.
Lead author of the study Patrício Soares-da-Silva, who published the report in the journal Epilepsia, says that the drug has the potential to become an important new central nervous system drug, not only for the treatment of epilepsy, but also for patients suffering from bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain.