Lege Artis Medicinae

[RECENT TRENDS IN THE PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY]

SZUPERA Zoltán

JULY 14, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(06-07)

[Over the last decades, drug therapy for epilepsy has changed substantially, which generated new expectations. The first-line therapy of epilepsies is pharmacological treatment, which is effective in 60 to 70% of patients. Despite this favourable result, even today's drug therapy cannot yet be considered optimal. Prior to 1990, only six major antiepileptics were available for the clinicians, while since then more than ten new drugs have been introduced into the market. The older drugs have the advantage of long-term experience, known efficacy, and lower cost. These first generation drugs, while effective in patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy, share some unfavourable properties. They do not control many patients adequately, while with their long-term use chronic side effects develop. The purpose of this paper is to summarize recent data on the efficacy, safety, and administration of the older and new antiepileptic drugs. The main factors to consider when choosing a drug for treatment include syndromatological classification of the disease, efficacy and tolerability of the drug, and individual patient considerations. Of the first generation antiepileptics, carbamapezine, valproate, ethosuximide, and to some extent the clobazam and clonazepam are still widely used (benzodiazepines only as adjunctive therapy). The use of phenobarbitals, primidone, phenytoin, and sulthiam has diminished because of their side effects and inadequate efficacy. New antiepileptics are more efficient primarily in the therapy of West syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and in idiopathic generalized epilepsies. The pharmacokinetic properties of gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, and oxcarbazepine are favourable, and their clinical use is safe. The use of felbamate, vigabatrin, and topiramate requires close attention because of their side effects.]

COMMENTS

0 comments

Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Medicine: a Ship on the Sea of Culture – The “Cheap Drug Debate” and its Cultural Aspects]

dr. BÁNFALVI Attila

Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE USE OF DIRECT VASODILATORS AND DIGITALIS IN CHRONIC HEART FAILURE]

DÉKÁNY Miklós

[For the optimal treatment of heart failure patients with systolic dysfunction, supplementation of the standard diuretics plus neurohormonal antagonists treatment with the direct vasodilator combination dihydralazine+nitrate, as well as with digitalis may be necessary. Addition of hydralazine/dihydralazine+nitrate to the treatment of chronic heart failure is recommended if ACE-inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers cannot be administered. Beta blockers should also be used in these cases. If symptoms persist or worsen, addition of this combination to the standard therapy is reasonable. Supplementation with digitalis, mostly digoxin should be considered in similar conditions. It can be especially beneficial for patients with high-ventricular-rate atrial fibrillation. To achieve maximal survival benefit, the dose of digoxin must not exceed 0.125 mg/day. Low body weight or muscle mass, significantly reduced renal function may make further dose reduction necessary. If renal function is severely limited, digitoxin instead of digoxin may be used.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Lorenzo da Ponte The Librettist of Mozart]

dr. KÖVES Péter

Lege Artis Medicinae

[CARDIOLOGIC REHABILITATION IN CHRONIC HEART FAILURE]

SZÁSZ Károly

[The past decade has seen a considerable change in the approach to manage heart failure. In chronic heart failure, physical training primarily improves peripheral circulation rather than the function of the left ventricle. Regular training of patients with stable NYHA II-III stages improves physical stress tolerance and respiratory function, and also reduces the over-activated sympathetic tone. It has beneficial effects on the biochemical processes of the skeletal muscles. The duration, intensity and frequency of the training are individually set and can be changed according to the clinical state of the patient. The recommended intensity of the training is 60 to 70% of the peak oxygen use. The duration and frequency of the training depends on the clinical state of the patient and it can be raised to 3 to 6 occasions and the duration can vary between 30 to 60 minutes. For safety reasons the patient should be monitored before, during and after physical training. Cardiological rehabilitation should be a team work, with the physician as the co-ordinator, but the physiotherapist, the dietician, the psychologist and the social worker all have important, indispensable roles in achieving the optimal state of the patient.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[RECOGNITION AND MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE HEART FAILURE]

KARLÓCAI Kristóf

[Acute heart failure may develop in previously healthy hearts. Nevertheless, structural abnormalities can facilitate its development and also, chronic heart failure can progress into acute stage. Considering the total cost of care in the patient's life, this is the most expensive heart disease. The clinical signs and physical abnormalities are usually of diagnostic power, however, instrumental investigations are necessary to recognize complications and to guide therapy. Patients should be monitored in well equipped coronary care units. Therapy consists of medications, coronary revascularization and use of mechanical assist devices.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Psychosocial conditions of adult epileptic patients in Hungary]

RAJNA Péter, SÓLYOM András, VERES Judit

[Authors analyze the possible connections among psychosocial, more important epileptological and social conditions in the population of the Hungarian Epilepsy Database. The inclusion criteria were the presence of repeated epileptic seizures, the strict diagnosis of epilepsy and at least three registered control visits. Four hundred and fifty 30 or more years old patients fulfilled the criteria. Based on the answers to four questions in the database considering some conditions potentially modifying the way of life the patients were scored and distributed into 3 subgroups (good, average and bad) concerning their psychosocial conditions. In contrast to previous expectations they found that the type of epilepsy does not influence the attainable psychosocial conditions. Presence of generalized tonic-clonic or complex partial seizure did not exhibit influence either. Analysis of the seizure frequency showed that generalized convulsions, if occurred rarely were accompanied by good psychosocial level and if occurred frequently they were accompanied by a less acceptable level. Psychopathological symptoms independently from their nature and evidenced brain lesion as etiology also made the psychosocial conditions worse. No difference was found concerning the gender of the population. It contradicts the hypothesis that epilepsy has a greater impact on females. Psychosocial conditions are better in patients with higher education and living in pairs. Based on the study authors support the statements of the literature emphasizing that for achieving the best quality of life and psychosocial level an appropriate medical care is not enough. They need also the relative highest level of education and a stable partnership.]

Clinical Oncology

[Novelties in the management of Hodgkin lymphoma]

ILLÉS Árpád, MOLNÁR Zsuzsa, MILTÉNYI Zsófia

[Hodgkin lymphoma is a lymphoproliferativ disease, it is about 12-18% of all lymphomas. It has typical morphologic, clinical and therapeutic features, which can distinguish from other lymphoma types. Due to risk- and PET/CT adapted treatment Hodgkin lymphoma is a curable lymphoma with an 80-90% long-term survival, however, refracter- and relapsed patients’ therapy is a great challange. Cure rate can increase due to the development of the diagnostic and treatment modalities, but the use of standard recommendation is necessary. The aim of this review is to show new WHO 2016 lymphoma classifi cation, role of the new diagnostic options, especially 18FDG-PET/CT, Lugano classifi cation and fi rst-line and salvage therapeutic possibilities and to introduce the immunotherapy, like brentuximab vedotin and PD1 inhibitors. Certain points of hemopoietic stem cell transplantation will be also covered.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[DIETARY ASPECTS OF EPILEPSY]

KOZÁK Norbert, CSIBA László

[The ketogenic diet has been used long for the treatment of epilepsy. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet creates ketosis. Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown the results are consistent. Ten percent of the patients who start the diet become seizure free, 50% experiences 50% seizure reduction. The diet is hardly tolerable but also effective in therapyresistent patients. Trials are under way with new methods, like the Atkins diet, low-glycaemic-index treatment, polyunsaturated fatty acids, to make the diet more tolerable and widely available.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[LADA type diabetes, celiac diasease, cerebellar ataxia and stiff person syndrome. A rare association of autoimmune disorders]

SOÓS Zsuzsanna, SALAMON Mónika, ERDEI Katalin, KASZÁS Nóra, FOLYOVICH András, SZŰCS Anna, BARCS Gábor, ARÁNYI Zsuzsanna, SKALICZKI József, VADASDI Károly, WINKLER Gábor

[Celiac disease - in its typical form - is a chronic immunemediated enteropathy with typical clinical symptoms that develops against gliadin content of cereal grains, and is often associated with other autoimmune diseases. In cases of atypical manifestation classic symptoms may be absent or mild, and extra-intestinal symptoms or associated syndromes dominate clinical picture. The authors present a longitudinal follow-up of such a case. A 63-years old woman was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 19, and with progressive limb ataxia at the age of 36, which was initially thought to be caused by cerebellar atrophy, later probably by stiff person syndrome. At the age 59, her diabetes mellitus manifested with type 2 diabetic phenotype, but based on GAD positivity later was reclassified as type 1 diabetes. Only the last check-up discovered the celiac disease, retrospectively explaining the entire disease course and neurological symptoms. By presenting this case, the authors would like to draw attention to the fact that one should think of the possibility of celiac disease when cerebellar ataxia, progressive neurological symptoms and diabetes are present at the same time. An early diagnosis may help to delay the progression of disease and help better treatment.]