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Outcome Evaluation of Gabapentin as Add-on Therapy for Partial Seizures

Joseph Bruni on behalf of the "NEON" Study Investigators Group

Abstract: Objective: The safety, tolerability, efficacy, and impact on quality of life of gabapentin (Neurontin®) as adjunctive therapy to carbamazepine (CBZ) and/or phenytoin (PHT) was assessed in epileptic patients with partial seizures. Methods: NEON (Neurontin Evaluation of Outcomes in Neurological Practice) was an open-label, prospective, multicentre study conducted in patients on a stable dose of CBZ and/or PHT and experiencing an average of up to 4 complex partial seizures with or without secondary generalization per month, with no seizure-free months. The treatment lasted 20 weeks. Gabapentin was started at 400 mg/day and was individually titrated to effective tolerable dose up to 2400 mg/day. Quality of life was evaluated using the QOLIE-10 questionnaire. Results: A total of 141 patients were enrolled at 36 sites; 114 patients were evaluable for efficacy analyses. The mean maintenance dose of gabapentin was 1600 mg/day (range = 300-3200). A decrease of 50% or more in frequency of complex partial + secondarily generalized seizures was observed in 81 (71%) patients (p = 0.0001). Fifty two (46%) patients were seizure-free during the last 8 weeks of treatment. A significant improvement (p < 0.05) was observed in 5 of the 10 questions of the QOLIE-10, as well as in the composite QOL score (p = 0.0002). The most frequent adverse events included somnolence (16%), dizziness (9%), and asthenia (6%). Twenty-five (18%) patients prematurely discontinued the study, 16 (11%) of them due to adverse events. Conclusions: This study indicates that treatment with gabapentin as adjunctive therapy to standard antiepileptic drugs in this group of patients not only provides significant improvement in seizure control, but also has a positive impact on quality of life. The clinical benefits in efficacy, safety and tolerability demonstrated at 20 weeks are sustained, and no tolerance develops with gabapentin in longer term use.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1998; 25: 134-140

 


 
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