An epilepsy drug with a new method of action is safe and effective, according to a new study Retigabine works by opening potassium channels and is being developed to treat people with partial-onset seizures whose seizures are not fully controlled by other drugs.

The finding may be good news for people with epilepsy who don't respond well to current available medications, said study author Dr. Roger). Porter, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. When the study was conducted, Porter worked for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which developed retigabine. The study was sponsored and conducted by Wyeth.

About The Study

The study included 399 patients who were divided into four groups: three groups received different doses of retigabine for 16 weeks, and one group received a placebo. At the start of the study, all of the patients were having an average of eight to 10 seizures a month and were also taking one to two other epilepsy drugs.

Patients who took the highest dose of retigabine had an average of 35% fewer seizures during the study, compared with 13% for patients who took the placebo. The study also found that 33% of the patients who took the highest dose of the drug had a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency.

Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, tremor, amnesia and speech disorders were among the side effects experienced by patients who took retigabine.

Want to Keep Reading?

Continue reading with a Health Confidential membership.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in