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First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs

Anticonvulsant drugs are pharmacological agents used to achieve seizure control and/or prevent seizure episodes. Anticonvulsants encompass various drugs with different mechanisms of action including ion-channel (Na+ and Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+) blocking and GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS reuptake inhibition. Phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid, and ethosuximide are the 1st-generation antiseizure drugs. Anticonvulsant drugs generally have complicated pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, multiple drug interactions, and narrow therapeutic ranges compared with new-generation drugs.

Last updated: 30 May, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definitions

Anticonvulsant drugs are used to suppress abnormal electrical activity in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification through various mechanisms.

  • Seizures are episodes of neurologic dysfunction caused by uncontrolled, abnormal neuronal activity in the brain, and are characterized by sudden changes in senses, perception, motor activity, or behavior.
  • Epilepsy is a disease with an enduring risk of recurrent unprovoked seizures (> 2 episodes occurring > 24 hours apart).

Pathophysiology of seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures

The hyperexcitable state of neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology results via the following 3 steps:

  • Paroxysmal depolarization Depolarization Membrane Potential shifts:
    • ↑ Excitatory synaptic neurotransmission Neurotransmission The communication from a neuron to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a synapse. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a neurotransmitter that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across electrical synapses. Synapses and Neurotransmission
    • Glutamate Glutamate Derivatives of glutamic acid. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that contain the 2-aminopentanedioic acid structure. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter.
      • ↑ Na+ and calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes ( Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+) influx through glutamate-gated channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane (K+ efflux occurs during this process.)
      • Other receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors trigger Trigger The type of signal that initiates the inspiratory phase by the ventilator Invasive Mechanical Ventilation the release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology of intracellular Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+ stores → increase in intracellular Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+
      • Generation of repetitive action potentials
  • Increased excitation of the surrounding neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology:
    • Repeated depolarizations → ↑ extracellular K+
    • Elevated K+ drives depolarization Depolarization Membrane Potential of the surrounding neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology.
  • Failure to inhibit excitatory feedback circuit:
    • Stimulation by excess glutamate Glutamate Derivatives of glutamic acid. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that contain the 2-aminopentanedioic acid structure. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids
    • Loss of refractory period ( neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology unable to generate action potential Action Potential Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the cell membrane of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli. Membrane Potential)
    • Decreased activity of GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS:
      • The main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification
      • Defects in GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS activation or inhibition → seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures

General mechanisms of first-generation antiseizure drugs

  • Na+ channel blockers:
    • Phenytoin
    • Carbamazepine
    • Valproic acid
  • Promotion of GABA-related inhibition:
    • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines
    • Phenobarbital
    • Valproic acid
  • Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+ channel blocker:
    • Ethosuximide

Phenobarbital

Chemistry and pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics, to which phenobarbital belongs, are sedative-hypnotic agents. Only a few are effective antiseizure drugs (effective below the hypnotic dose).
    • Phenobarbital:
    • Primidone is a less used barbiturate:
      • Largely replaced by new-generation anticonvulsants
      • Converted into phenobarbital and phenylethylmalonamide (PEMA)
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Binds to GABA-A receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors, potentiating synaptic inhibition
    • Leads to neuronal hyperpolarization Hyperpolarization Membrane Potential by extending the duration of chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes channel opening
Chemical structure of phenobarbital 1st generation anticonvulsant drugs

Chemical structure of phenobarbital

Image: “Phenobarbital” by Harbinary. License: Public Domain

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • IV, IM, or oral administration (with varying levels of absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption)
    • Peak concentrations are achieved several hours after the dose.
  • Distribution: 40%–60% is bound to plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis.
  • Metabolism: hepatic metabolism via hepatic microsomal enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes or the cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury (CYP) system (primarily CYP2C9 CYP2C9 A cytochrome p-450 subtype that has specificity for acidic xenobiotics. It oxidizes a broad range of important clinical drugs that fall under the categories of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents; hypoglycemic agents; anticoagulants; and diuretics. Anticoagulants)
  • Excretion: renal (up to 25% excreted unchanged in urine)

Indications

  • Generalized and focal tonic-clonic seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Partial seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • First-line treatment in neonatal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Off-label: treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal Alcohol withdrawal With chronic alcohol use, body increases activity of excitatory receptors (e.g., glutamate) while decreasing activation of inhibitory receptors (e.g., GABA). Cessation of alcohol use leads to unchecked glutamate activation, presenting as withdrawal. Alcohol Use Disorder

Drug-drug interactions

  • Induces uridine 5′-diphosphoglucuronyltransferase (UGT) and CYP:
  • CNS-depressant effect of alcohol is enhanced.

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Sedation (can lead to coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma, respiratory depression)
    • Bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias, hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension
    • Ataxia Ataxia Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or peripheral nerve diseases. Motor ataxia may be associated with cerebellar diseases; cerebral cortex diseases; thalamic diseases; basal ganglia diseases; injury to the red nucleus; and other conditions. Ataxia-telangiectasia, nystagmus Nystagmus Involuntary movements of the eye that are divided into two types, jerk and pendular. Jerk nystagmus has a slow phase in one direction followed by a corrective fast phase in the opposite direction, and is usually caused by central or peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Pendular nystagmus features oscillations that are of equal velocity in both directions and this condition is often associated with visual loss early in life. Albinism (with high dosage Dosage Dosage Calculation)
    • Constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation, nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome ( SJS SJS Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome) (rare)
  • Warnings:
    • Risk of respiratory depression and death with high doses or when coadministered with other depressants (e.g., narcotics, benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines)
    • ↑ Risk of psychological and physical dependence
    • Seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures occur with abrupt cessation.
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
    • Hypersensitivity to barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics
    • Hepatic impairment
    • Dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea or airway obstruction Airway obstruction Airway obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the airways that impedes airflow. An airway obstruction can be classified as upper, central, or lower depending on location. Lower airway obstruction (LAO) is usually a manifestation of chronic disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Airway Obstruction
    • Porphyria
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care considerations:
    • Associated with fetal abnormalities
    • When used in the 3rd trimester → ↑ risk of neonatal withdrawal symptoms ( seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures, hyperirritability)

Phenytoin

Chemistry and pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Phenytoin:
    • 5,5-Diphenylhydantoin
    • Antiseizure activity, generally without CNS depression
  • Fosphenytoin is a related antiseizure drug:
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Protects against seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures by blocking voltage-gated Na+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane
    • Blocks sustained, high-frequency, repetitive firing of action potentials
Chemical structure of phenytoin 1st generation anticonvulsant drugs

Chemical structure of phenytoin

Image: “Phenytoin structure” by Harbin. License: Public Domain

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • 2 oral formulations: rapid-release and extended-release forms. Once-daily dosing is possible with extended-release phenytoin.
    • Generic and brand-name phenytoin may differ in phenytoin content:
      • Affects phenytoin levels
      • Checking levels is important when changing routes and preparations.
  • Distribution:
    • Extensively bound to plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis (90%)
    • Unbound (free) phenytoin exerts biological effects.
    • Populations such as neonates, the elderly, and individuals with hypoalbuminemia Hypoalbuminemia A condition in which albumin level in blood (serum albumin) is below the normal range. Hypoalbuminemia may be due to decreased hepatic albumin synthesis, increased albumin catabolism, altered albumin distribution, or albumin loss through the urine (albuminuria). Nephrotic Syndrome in Children may exhibit toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation even if drug levels in serum are normal.
  • Metabolism:
    • Hepatic metabolism with > 90% metabolized by microsomal enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes (particularly CYP2C9 CYP2C9 A cytochrome p-450 subtype that has specificity for acidic xenobiotics. It oxidizes a broad range of important clinical drugs that fall under the categories of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents; hypoglycemic agents; anticoagulants; and diuretics. Anticoagulants)
    • The inactive metabolite is excreted in the bile Bile An emulsifying agent produced in the liver and secreted into the duodenum. Its composition includes bile acids and salts; cholesterol; and electrolytes. It aids digestion of fats in the duodenum. Gallbladder and Biliary Tract: Anatomy.
  • Excretion:
    • Metabolite is reabsorbed in the GI tract and excreted in urine.
    • <5% of phenytoin is excreted unchanged by the kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy.

Indications

  • Treatment of generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Mixed seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures (myoclonic and tonic clonic)
  • Status epilepticus Status Epilepticus A prolonged seizure or seizures repeated frequently enough to prevent recovery between episodes occurring over a period of 20-30 minutes. The most common subtype is generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus, a potentially fatal condition associated with neuronal injury and respiratory and metabolic dysfunction. Nonconvulsive forms include petit mal status and complex partial status, which may manifest as behavioral disturbances. Simple partial status epilepticus consists of persistent motor, sensory, or autonomic seizures that do not impair cognition. Subclinical status epilepticus generally refers to seizures occurring in an unresponsive or comatose individual in the absence of overt signs of seizure activity. Seizures
  • Seizure prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins (for craniotomy Craniotomy Surgical incision into the cranium. Neurosurgery)

Drug-drug interactions

  • Induces CYP and UGT:
    • Phenytoin can affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment warfarin Warfarin An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide. Anticoagulants in different ways, thus monitoring is needed:
      • ↑ INR: When phenytoin is initiated, it displaces warfarin Warfarin An anticoagulant that acts by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors. Warfarin is indicated for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of venous thrombosis and its extension, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation with embolization. It is also used as an adjunct in the prophylaxis of systemic embolism after myocardial infarction. Warfarin is also used as a rodenticide. Anticoagulants from the protein-binding sites.
      • ↓ INR: observed in long-term phenytoin use, as phenytoin is a CYP inducer
    • Phenytoin can decrease the effects of:
      • Oral contraceptives
      • Carbamazepine
  • Notable interactions that increase phenytoin effects:
    • Alcohol
    • Amiodarone Amiodarone An antianginal and class III antiarrhythmic drug. It increases the duration of ventricular and atrial muscle action by inhibiting potassium channels and voltage-gated sodium channels. There is a resulting decrease in heart rate and in vascular resistance. Pulmonary Fibrosis
    • Cimetidine Cimetidine A histamine congener, it competitively inhibits histamine binding to histamine h2 receptors. Cimetidine has a range of pharmacological actions. It inhibits gastric acid secretion, as well as pepsin and gastrin output. Antihistamines
    • Chlordiazepoxide Chlordiazepoxide An anxiolytic benzodiazepine derivative with anticonvulsant, sedative, and amnesic properties. It has also been used in the symptomatic treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepines
    • Diazepam Diazepam A benzodiazepine with anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnesic properties and a long duration of action. Its actions are mediated by enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid activity. Benzodiazepines
    • Ethosuximide
    • Sulfamethoxazole Sulfamethoxazole A bacteriostatic antibacterial agent that interferes with folic acid synthesis in susceptible bacteria. Its broad spectrum of activity has been limited by the development of resistance. Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim
    • Valproic acid
  • Notable interactions that may decrease phenytoin effects:
    • Carbamazepine
    • Sucralfate

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Anorexia Anorexia The lack or loss of appetite accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder anorexia nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa
    • Incoordination
    • Nystagmus Nystagmus Involuntary movements of the eye that are divided into two types, jerk and pendular. Jerk nystagmus has a slow phase in one direction followed by a corrective fast phase in the opposite direction, and is usually caused by central or peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Pendular nystagmus features oscillations that are of equal velocity in both directions and this condition is often associated with visual loss early in life. Albinism
    • ↑ Risk of suicidal risk/behavior
    • Hepatic injury
    • Hypertrichosis
    • Gingival hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation
    • Folic acid depletion
    • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types density
    • SJS SJS Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (TEN)
  • Warnings:
    • Narrow therapeutic index Therapeutic Index An indicator of the benefits and risks of treatment. Dosage Calculation
    • Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin may result in seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures.
    • Rapid IV infusion can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension.
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen: Obtain baseline and periodic hepatic function tests.
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
    • Hypersensitivity to the drug or its components
    • Sinus bradycardia Sinus bradycardia Bradyarrhythmias
    • Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular block Atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia caused by delay, or interruption, in the electrical conduction between the atria and the ventricles. Atrioventricular block occurs due to either anatomic or functional impairment, and is classified into 3 types. Atrioventricular block (AV block)
    • Adams-Stokes syndrome Adams-Stokes syndrome A condition of fainting spells caused by heart block, often an atrioventricular block, that leads to bradycardia and drop in cardiac output. When the cardiac output becomes too low, the patient faints (syncope). In some cases, the syncope attacks are transient and in others cases repetitive and persistent. Atrioventricular block (AV block)
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care considerations: associated with teratogenesis (e.g., neural tube Neural tube A tube of ectodermal tissue in an embryo that will give rise to the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and the brain. Lumen within the neural tube is called neural canal which gives rise to the central canal of the spinal cord and the ventricles of the brain. Gastrulation and Neurulation defects, cleft palate Cleft palate Congenital fissure of the soft and/or hard palate, due to faulty fusion. Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate, microcephaly Microcephaly A congenital abnormality in which the cerebrum is underdeveloped, the fontanels close prematurely, and, as a result, the head is small. (desk reference for neuroscience, 2nd ed. ). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and mental defects)

Carbamazepine

Chemistry and pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Carbamazepine:
    • Iminostilbene derivative (with a carbamyl group at position 5)
    • Chemically related to tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medications used in the management of mood disorders, primarily depression. These agents, named after their 3-ring chemical structure, act via reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine and serotonin) in the brain. Tricyclic Antidepressants
  • Oxcarbazepine is a related antiseizure drug:
    • Carbamazepine analog
    • Similar mechanism as that of carbamazepine but a less potent enzyme inducer (minimal effect on the CYP system)
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Na+ channel blocker
    • Binds to voltage-gated Na+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane in its inactive conformation, limiting the repetitive and sustained firing of action potentials
Chemical structure of carbamazepine

Chemical structure of carbamazepine

Image: “Carbamazepine structural formulae” by Jü. License: Public Domain

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • Slow absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption after an oral dose
    • Peak concentrations are achieved after up to 8 hours of ingestion.
  • Distribution:
    • 70% protein bound
    • Distribution in all tissues, drug concentration in CSF is similar to that of the free drug in plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products
  • Metabolism:
  • Excretion: renal

Indications

  • Seizure disorder (focal and generalized)
  • Neuropathic pain Neuropathic pain Caused by lesion or disease affecting the nervous system (PNS or CNS). Pain: Types and Pathways (e.g., trigeminal neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is an often chronic and recurring pain syndrome involving the sensory distribution of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve (CN) V). The pain is typically unilateral and described as an acute, sharp, electric-shock-like pain involving the maxillary or mandibular areas and often associated with spasm of facial muscles. Trigeminal Neuralgia)
  • Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder is a highly recurrent psychiatric illness characterized by periods of manic/hypomanic features (distractibility, impulsivity, increased activity, decreased sleep, talkativeness, grandiosity, flight of ideas) with or without depressive symptoms. Bipolar Disorder

Drug-drug interactions

  • Carbamazepine is a potent inducer of CYP and UGT (may reduce plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products concentrations of concurrently administered medications by inducing their metabolism):
    • Clonazepam Clonazepam An anticonvulsant used for several types of seizures, including myotonic or atonic seizures, photosensitive epilepsy, and absence seizures, although tolerance may develop. It is seldom effective in generalized tonic-clonic or partial seizures. The mechanism of action appears to involve the enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor responses. Benzodiazepines
    • Topiramate Topiramate A sulfamate-substituted fructose analog that was originally identified as a hypoglycemic agent. It is used for the treatment of epilepsy and migraine disorders, and may also promote weight loss. Second-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Valproic acid
    • Zonisamide Zonisamide A benzisoxazole and sulfonamide derivative that acts as a calcium channel blocker. It is used primarily as an adjunctive antiepileptic agent for the treatment of partial seizures, with or without secondary generalization. Second-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
    • Nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors
  • Drugs/foods that increase carbamazepine effects:
  • Drugs that decrease carbamazepine effects:
    • Clonazepam Clonazepam An anticonvulsant used for several types of seizures, including myotonic or atonic seizures, photosensitive epilepsy, and absence seizures, although tolerance may develop. It is seldom effective in generalized tonic-clonic or partial seizures. The mechanism of action appears to involve the enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor responses. Benzodiazepines
    • Phenytoin

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome)
    • Ataxia Ataxia Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or peripheral nerve diseases. Motor ataxia may be associated with cerebellar diseases; cerebral cortex diseases; thalamic diseases; basal ganglia diseases; injury to the red nucleus; and other conditions. Ataxia-telangiectasia
    • Blurred vision Blurred Vision Retinal Detachment
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Hepatic injury
    • Hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia
    • Hematological toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation (aplastic anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, agranulocytosis Agranulocytosis A decrease in the number of granulocytes; (basophils; eosinophils; and neutrophils). Lincosamides)
    • Hypersensitivity reactions
    • SIADH SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) is a disorder of impaired water excretion due to the inability to suppress the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). SIADH is characterized by impaired water excretion leading to dilutional hyponatremia, which is mainly asymptomatic but may cause neurologic symptoms. S Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion (SIADH)
  • Warnings:
    • ↑ Risk of SJS SJS Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and TEN in individuals with the HLA-B HLA-B Class I human histocompatibility (HLA) surface antigens encoded by more than 30 detectable alleles on locus B of the HLA complex, the most polymorphic of all the HLA specificities. Several of these antigens (e.g., hla-b27, -b7, -b8) are strongly associated with predisposition to rheumatoid and other autoimmune disorders. Like other class I HLA determinants, they are involved in the cellular immune reactivity of cytolytic T lymphocytes. Organ Transplantation*1502 allele Allele Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous chromosomes, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product. Basic Terms of Genetics (often seen in individuals of Asian ancestry)
    • Obtain hematologic studies because of the risk of hematologic toxicity Toxicity Dosage Calculation:
      • Monitor if a reduction in platelet and WBC counts is noted.
      • Discontinue if bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms occurs.
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen: Obtain baseline and periodic hepatic function tests.
    • As SIADH SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) is a disorder of impaired water excretion due to the inability to suppress the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). SIADH is characterized by impaired water excretion leading to dilutional hyponatremia, which is mainly asymptomatic but may cause neurologic symptoms. S Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion (SIADH) can occur, monitor electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes especially in individuals at risk of hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia (e.g., individuals on diuretic therapy).
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care considerations: associated with teratogenic effects (e.g., spina bifida, craniofacial and cardiovascular malformations)

Valproic acid

Chemistry and pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Valproic acid:
    • N-dipropylacetic acid
    • Inhibits several types of seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Divalproex is a related antiseizure drug:
    • Valproic acid derivative
    • Contains the sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia salt of valproic acid and valproic acid
  • Mechanism of action:
    • Blocks voltage-dependent Na+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane → suppresses repetitive neuronal firing
    • Inhibits GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS transaminase Transaminase A subclass of enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the transfer of an amino group from a donor (generally an amino acid) to an acceptor (generally a 2-keto acid). Most of these enzymes are pyridoxyl phosphate proteins. Catabolism of Amino Acids → ↑ GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS levels
    • Decreases T-type Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+ currents
Chemical structure of valproic acid

Chemical structure of valproic acid

Image: “Valproic acid” by Harbin. License: Public Domain

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
    • Generally absorbed rapidly after oral ingestion
    • Delay in absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption noted in enteric-coated formulations or if ingested with meals
  • Distribution: 90% bound to plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis
  • Metabolism:
    • Hepatic metabolism
    • Moderately inhibits CYP and UGT glucuronidation
  • Excretion: renal (<5% unchanged in the urine)

Indications

  • Generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Absence seizures Absence seizures Brief period of unresponsiveness thats lasts about 4–30 seconds and can occur multiple times per day Seizures in Children
  • Prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins of migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache headaches
  • Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder is a highly recurrent psychiatric illness characterized by periods of manic/hypomanic features (distractibility, impulsivity, increased activity, decreased sleep, talkativeness, grandiosity, flight of ideas) with or without depressive symptoms. Bipolar Disorder

Drug-drug interactions

  • Valproic acid inhibits CYP and UGT and can increase the effects of the following drugs:
  • Valproic acid can decrease the effects of:
    • Felbamate Felbamate A pegylated phenylcarbamate derivative that acts as an antagonist of nmda receptors. It is used as an anticonvulsant, primarily for the treatment of seizures in severe refractory epilepsy. Second-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs (unknown mechanism)
    • Oxcarbazepine (↑ metabolism)
  • The following drugs can decrease the efficacy of valproic acid:
    • Carbamazepine
    • Ethosuximide

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Hair loss
    • Tremors
    • Weight gain, obesity Obesity Obesity is a condition associated with excess body weight, specifically with the deposition of excessive adipose tissue. Obesity is considered a global epidemic. Major influences come from the western diet and sedentary lifestyles, but the exact mechanisms likely include a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Obesity, and metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that significantly increases the risk for several secondary diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver. In general, it is agreed that hypertension, insulin resistance/hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia, along with central obesity, are components of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome
    • Hepatic injury
    • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia and other coagulation disturbances
  • Warnings:
    • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen:
      • ↑ Risk of acute liver failure Liver failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis (especially in neurometabolic syndromes from mitochondrial DNA Mitochondrial DNA Double-stranded DNA of mitochondria. In eukaryotes, the mitochondrial genome is circular and codes for ribosomal rnas, transfer rnas, and about 10 proteins. DNA Types and Structure polymerase gamma (POLG) gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics mutations)
      • Baseline and periodic hepatic function tests
    • Acute pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis (medical evaluation required if individuals present with abdominal pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and symptoms indicative of pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis)
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation:
    • Known hypersensitivity to valproic acid
    • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy disease
    • Mitochondrial disorders Mitochondrial Disorders Diseases caused by abnormal function of the mitochondria. They may be caused by mutations, acquired or inherited, in mitochondrial DNA or in nuclear genes that code for mitochondrial components. They may also be the result of acquired mitochondria dysfunction due to adverse effects of drugs, infections, or other environmental causes. Mitochondrial Inheritance (Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome)
    • Urea cycle disorders Urea cycle disorders Urea cycle disorders (UCDs) are caused by genetic defects and result in deficiencies of enzymes and transporters of the urea cycle. As a result of the defects, individuals are unable to rid the body of nitrogen waste. Common symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and respiratory alkalosis. Urea Cycle Disorders (valproic acid inhibits urea Urea A compound formed in the liver from ammonia produced by the deamination of amino acids. It is the principal end product of protein catabolism and constitutes about one half of the total urinary solids. Urea Cycle synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) → ↑ ammonia Ammonia A colorless alkaline gas. It is formed in the body during decomposition of organic materials during a large number of metabolically important reactions. Note that the aqueous form of ammonia is referred to as ammonium hydroxide. Acid-Base Balance levels)
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care considerations:
    • Teratogenic
    • Fetal abnormalities (valproate syndrome) include:
      • Neural tube Neural tube A tube of ectodermal tissue in an embryo that will give rise to the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and the brain. Lumen within the neural tube is called neural canal which gives rise to the central canal of the spinal cord and the ventricles of the brain. Gastrulation and Neurulation defects such as spina bifida
      • Developmental delay
      • Cleft lip Cleft lip The embryological development of craniofacial structures is an intricate sequential process involving tissue growth and directed cell apoptosis. Disruption of any step in this process may result in the formation of a cleft lip alone or in combination with a cleft palate. As the most common craniofacial malformation of the newborn, the diagnosis of a cleft is clinical and usually apparent at birth. Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate/ palate Palate The palate is the structure that forms the roof of the mouth and floor of the nasal cavity. This structure is divided into soft and hard palates. Palate: Anatomy
      • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis heart defects
      • Limb abnormalities

Ethosuximide

Chemistry and pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science that studies the biochemical and physiologic effects of a drug and its organ-specific mechanism of action, including effects on the cellular level. Pharmacokinetics is “what the body does to the drug,” whereas pharmacodynamics is “what the drug does to the body.” Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Ethosuximide:
    • α-Ethyl-α-methylsuccinimide
    • Effective in absence seizures Absence seizures Brief period of unresponsiveness thats lasts about 4–30 seconds and can occur multiple times per day Seizures in Children (when not accompanied by other types of seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures)
  • Mechanism of action: reduces T-type Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane of the thalamic neurons Neurons The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the nervous system. Nervous System: Histology
Chemical structure of ethosuximide

Chemical structure of ethosuximide

Image: “Ethosuximide” by Fvasconcellos. License: Public Domain

Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

  • Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption:
  • Distribution:
    • Little or no protein binding
    • Drug distribution in CSF is similar to that in plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products.
  • Metabolism: hepatic microsomal enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes (particularly CYP3A)
  • Excretion: renal (25% unchanged)

Indications

Treatment of absence seizures Absence seizures Brief period of unresponsiveness thats lasts about 4–30 seconds and can occur multiple times per day Seizures in Children

Drug-drug interactions

  • CNS-depressant effects can be exacerbated by other drugs and lead to drowsiness.
  • Orlistat may decrease ethosuximide levels.

Adverse effects and contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Adverse effects:
    • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, anorexia Anorexia The lack or loss of appetite accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder anorexia nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa
    • Drowsiness, lethargy Lethargy A general state of sluggishness, listless, or uninterested, with being tired, and having difficulty concentrating and doing simple tasks. It may be related to depression or drug addiction. Hyponatremia, euphoria Euphoria An exaggerated feeling of physical and emotional well-being not consonant with apparent stimuli or events; usually of psychologic origin, but also seen in organic brain disease and toxic states. Hepatic Encephalopathy, dizziness Dizziness An imprecise term which may refer to a sense of spatial disorientation, motion of the environment, or lightheadedness. Lateral Medullary Syndrome (Wallenberg Syndrome), headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
    • Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms
    • Photophobia Photophobia Abnormal sensitivity to light. This may occur as a manifestation of eye diseases; migraine; subarachnoid hemorrhage; meningitis; and other disorders. Photophobia may also occur in association with depression and other mental disorders. Migraine Headache
    • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Warnings:
    • Exercise caution when performing tasks (can cause drowsiness).
    • Monitor CBC as ethosuximide can cause blood dyscrasias.
    • Exercise caution in individuals with renal and hepatic impairment.
  • Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation: hypersensitivity to ethosuximide or its ingredients
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care considerations: associated with birth defects

Comparison of Medications

Table: Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science that analyzes how the human body interacts with a drug. Pharmacokinetics examines how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by the body. Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of drugs used to treat essential tremors
Medications Mechanism of action Major adverse effects Interactions Indications
Barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics (phenobarbital) Binds to GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS receptor Receptor Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors subunits → ↑ GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS inhibitory activity
  • Sedation
  • Cardiorespiratory depression
Induces CYP and UGT Generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
Phenytoin Blocks voltage-gated Na+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane
  • Gingival hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation
  • ↑ Body hair
  • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types density
  • Rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Ataxia Ataxia Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or peripheral nerve diseases. Motor ataxia may be associated with cerebellar diseases; cerebral cortex diseases; thalamic diseases; basal ganglia diseases; injury to the red nucleus; and other conditions. Ataxia-telangiectasia
  • Nystagmus Nystagmus Involuntary movements of the eye that are divided into two types, jerk and pendular. Jerk nystagmus has a slow phase in one direction followed by a corrective fast phase in the opposite direction, and is usually caused by central or peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Pendular nystagmus features oscillations that are of equal velocity in both directions and this condition is often associated with visual loss early in life. Albinism
  • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
Induces CYP and UGT
  • Generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Mixed seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Prevention of seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures during neurosurgery Neurosurgery Neurosurgery is a specialized field focused on the surgical management of pathologies of the brain, spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. General neurosurgery includes cases of trauma and emergencies. There are a number of specialized neurosurgical practices, including oncologic neurosurgery, spinal neurosurgery, and pediatric neurosurgery. Neurosurgery
Carbamazepine Blocks Na+ channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane
  • GI symptoms
  • Rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia
  • SJS SJS Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, TEN
  • Bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis suppression Suppression Defense Mechanisms
Induces CYP and UGT
  • Generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Neuropathic pain Neuropathic pain Caused by lesion or disease affecting the nervous system (PNS or CNS). Pain: Types and Pathways
Valproic acid
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that significantly increases the risk for several secondary diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver. In general, it is agreed that hypertension, insulin resistance/hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia, along with central obesity, are components of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome
  • Hepatotoxicity Hepatotoxicity Acetaminophen
  • ↓ Platelet count
  • Coagulation problems
Inhibits CYP and UGT
  • Generalized and focal seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures
  • Absence seizures Absence seizures Brief period of unresponsiveness thats lasts about 4–30 seconds and can occur multiple times per day Seizures in Children
  • Migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache prophylaxis Prophylaxis Cephalosporins
  • Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder is a highly recurrent psychiatric illness characterized by periods of manic/hypomanic features (distractibility, impulsivity, increased activity, decreased sleep, talkativeness, grandiosity, flight of ideas) with or without depressive symptoms. Bipolar Disorder
Ethosuximide ↓ T-type Ca CA Condylomata acuminata are a clinical manifestation of genital HPV infection. Condylomata acuminata are described as raised, pearly, flesh-colored, papular, cauliflower-like lesions seen in the anogenital region that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding. Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)2+ channel currents Drowsiness (CNS depression) ↑ Phenytoin effects Absence seizures Absence seizures Brief period of unresponsiveness thats lasts about 4–30 seconds and can occur multiple times per day Seizures in Children
Abbreviations:
UGT: uridine 5′-diphosphoglucuronyltransferase
CYP: cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury
SJS SJS Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
TEN: toxic epidermal necrolysis Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

References

  1. Al Khalili, Y., Sekhon, S., Jain, S. (2021). Carbamazepine toxicity. StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507852/
  2. Bialer, M. (2012). How did phenobarbital’s chemical structure affect the development of subsequent antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)? Epilepsia, 53, 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12024
  3. Crader, M., Johns, T. (2021). Warfarin drug interactions. StatPearls. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/31296
  4. Lowenstein, D.H. (2018). Seizures and epilepsy. Jameson, J., Fauci, A.S., Kasper, D.L., Hauser, S.L., Longo, D.L., Loscalzo, J. (Eds.), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20e. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2129&sectionid=192531797
  5. Miller, C. (2020). Phenytoin toxicity. Medscape. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/816447-overview
  6. Ropper, A.H., Samuels, M.A., Klein, J.P., Prasad, S. (Eds.) (2019). Epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Adams and Victor’s Principles of Neurology, 11e. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=1477&sectionid=138318583
  7. Schachter, S. (2021). Anti-seizure medications. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 28, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/antiseizure-medications-mechanism-of-action-pharmacology-and-adverse-effects
  8. Shakkottai, V.G., Lomen-Hoerth, C. (2019). Nervous system disorders. Hammer, G.D., McPhee, S.J. (Eds.), Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine, 8e. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2468&sectionid=198220873
  9. Smith, M.D., Metcalf, C.S., Wilcox, K.S. (2017). Pharmacotherapy of the epilepsies. Brunton, L.L., Hilal-Dandan, R., Knollmann, B.C. (Eds.), Goodman & Gilman’s: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13e. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2189&sectionid=170106435
  10. UpToDate. (2021). Carbamazepine: Drug information. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/carbamazepine-drug-information
  11. UpToDate. (2021) Ethosuximide: Drug information. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/ethosuximide-drug-information
  12. UpToDate. (2021). Phenobarbital: Drug information. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/phenobarbital-drug-information
  13. UpToDate. (2021). Phenytoin: Drug information. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/phenytoin-drug-information
  14. UpToDate. (2021). Valproate: Drug information. UpToDate. Retrieved Aug 29, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/valproate-drug-information

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