New drugs for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis

New drugs for epilepsy and multiple sclerosis

A new drug for the treatment of epilepsy, with the active ingredient kenobamate, was added to electronic prescriptions a week ago and is covered by insurance funds.

This medication comes in pill form and reduces seizures in adult patients by 50%.. In addition, two other drugs are expected to be marketed in our country by 2024, which are indicated for the treatment of Dravet, Lennox Gastaut and Rett syndromes in children.

“Kenobamati was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in March 2021, but only a few days ago it was included in the electronic prescription. It comes in pill form and is taken once a day It is mainly indicated in adult patients with drug-resistant epilepsy with focal seizures, with or without secondary generalization, i.e. it affects 1/3 of patients who are not controlled by other options. pharmaceutical drugs. Taking kenobamate can reduce seizures by 50%, thus improving the quality of life of patients, “said – among other things – the Associate Professor of Neurology, AUTH, 1st Neurology Clinic PGNT AHEPA Martha Spilioti, during his thematic speech “New antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of epilepsy”, within the framework of the 9th Panhellenic Congress of Applied Pharmacy (PSEF), organized by the Pharmaceutical Association of Thessaloniki.

At the same time, he noted that in 2024 two more drugs are expected in the form of an oral solution. The only drug whose active ingredient is fenfluramine was approved in 2020 by the FDA and in 2021 by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of seizures in Dravet syndrome, a childhood-like myoclonic epilepsy that usually occurs between 4 months and 3 years. . In 2023, it also received approval for Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, one of the most severe forms of epilepsy in children aged 2 and over, as well as in adults.

Additionally, in 2023, the drug trofinetide, which reduces inflammation and neuronal apoptosis, was approved for children aged 2 and older and for adults as first-line treatment for Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder genetic that occurs only in girls with mental retardation. , motor disability and epilepsy. Research with the well-known ketamine (antiepileptic drug used intravenously in epileptic conditions in intensive care units) in oral administration for Rett syndrome will also move into phase 3.

The messages for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (multiple sclerosis) are also encouraging. As pointed out by oneAssociate Professor of Neurology-Neuroimmunology AUTH, 1st Neurological Clinic PGNT AHEPA, Efrosony Koutsourakiin his thematic speech “Disease Modifying Drugs in Multiple Sclerosis” during the 9th PSEF, it is estimated that more than 2.8 million people worldwide have multiple sclerosis, in Greece more than 18,000 and in Europe more than 800,000 with a more frequent age of onset between 20-40 years and a prevalence among women (1.5 -3 times more than men).

“Early initiation of treatment alters the natural course of the disease which leads to reduced functionality in patients, as it appears that the degenerative process begins very early, significantly affects the progression of disability and is linked to neuroinflammation , which is primarily targeted by more than approved drugs for the disease. 15 drugs to treat the disease are already on sale in Greece, while six more are expected. Early initiation of treatment in patients with active multiple sclerosis may lead to long-term remission of disease symptoms and avoidance of severe disability, although of course definitive treatment of disease n hasn’t been found yet,” said Ms. Koutsouraki.

According to her, the choice of drugs is based on the greatest benefit for each patient according to the particularities of his life and the type of multiple sclerosis he presents, as well as the least possibility of serious long-term side effects.

“What is important for women with multiple sclerosis to know is that anyone can have a child if they wish. The conditions for this are planning, the disease being in remission, stabilized, without relapses.In the event that the disease has not stabilized, but pregnancy ensues, if the treating neurologist deems it necessary, the patient can also take certain medications during pregnancy so that the disease does not progress. does not aggravate, but also does not burden the fetus. In addition, studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the hereditary predisposition to the occurrence of multiple sclerosis in children whose parents have the disease, “said Mrs Koutsouraki.

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