, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 294-298
Date: 28 Dec 2011

Safety and Efficacy of Lacosamide in the Intensive Care Unit

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Abstract

Background

Seizures are common in critically ill patients and can impact morbidity and mortality. Traditional anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in this setting are not always effective and are associated with adverse events and drug interactions. Lacosamide (LCM) is a new AED which is available in parental form although few studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of LCM in critically ill patients.

Methods

Critically ill patients at Emory University Hospital who received LCM from April 1, 2009 to February 1, 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Primary outcome measure was incidence and time to seizure cessation. Adverse effects were also recorded.

Results

LCM was administered in 24 patients including 13 episodes of refractory status epilepticus (RSE) occurring in 10 patients and for treatment of isolated seizures or following resolution of RSE in an additional 14 patients. Seizure cessation was achieved in 5/13 (38%) episodes of RSE (mean 11.2 h) while there was at least a 50% decrease in seizure frequency in 7/13 (54%). 11/14 patients (76%) who received LCM for treatment of isolated seizures or prevention of seizure recurrence remained seizure free. Three patients experienced a decline in systolic blood pressure (>20 mmHg) while one patient experienced unexplained fever and one patient had elevation of liver function tests.

Conclusions

This preliminary data suggests that LCM may be a safe and effective alternative for treatment of seizures in critically ill patients. Further prospective, randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings and further explore the incidence of adverse effects.

Poster presented at American Epilepsy Society, December, 2010.