Retigabine Reduces Partial-Onset Seizures

Investigational drug decreases seizure frequency by up to 35 percent

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the investigational drug retigabine, which opens potassium channels, is a safe and effective adjunctive therapy for patients with partial-onset seizures, according to study findings published in the April 10 issue of Neurology.

Roger J. Porter, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 399 patients to receive either retigabine at dosages of 600, 900 and 1,200 mg/day, or placebo for 16 weeks.

The researchers found that partial-onset seizure frequency decreased in a dose-dependent manner: 23 percent for 600 mg/day, 29 percent for 900 mg/day and 35 percent for 1,200 mg/day, compared to 13 percent for placebo. The most common adverse effects associated with retigabine were somnolence, dizziness, confusion, speech disorder, vertigo, tremor, amnesia, abnormal thinking, abnormal gait, paresthesia and diplopia.

"These new clinical data on retigabine strongly support further human development in phase 3 studies for use as adjunctive therapy in patients with partial seizures," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by Wyeth Research in Radnor, Penn., and ASTA Medica AG (predecessor of VIATRIS GmbH) in Frankfurt, Germany.

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