Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Older epilepsy drugs do not prevent first seizure from brain tumors

16.04.2008
Many physicians prescribe antiepileptic medications to patients with brain tumors, even to those with no seizure history. Now, a new review of studies casts doubt on the wisdom of using these drugs — which can carry serious side effects — to prevent a first seizure in these patients.

“There has always been a question about whether it is worth using antiepileptic medications to protect against seizures in patients with a brain tumor even though we can’t predict who will actually have a seizure,” said lead review author Ivo Tremont-Lukats, M.D.

Tremont-Lukats is staff neurologist at the Culicchia Neurological Clinic in New Orleans and a clinical assistant professor of neurology at Louisiana State University.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The review included five studies looking at outcomes in 404 patients with brain tumors but no previous history of seizures. Some received one of three common antiseizure drugs: phenytoin (Dilantin), phenobarbital or divalproex sodium (Depakote). Others patients received a placebo or underwent close observation. Researchers found no differences in preventing the first seizure among the three groups.

“The results are such that we really can’t recommend seizure prevention using these three older anticonvulsants,” Tremont-Lukats said. “There was not a protective effect seen when using these drugs.”

In addition, the risk of side effects — such as drowsiness, bruising and unusual bleeding — was much higher for those using the drugs.

This review looked only at older medications. Because of a lack of usable studies, the researchers could not assess if newer antiepileptic medications might be more useful in stopping first seizures.

“We need to look at the newer generation of anticonvulsants to see if they can protect against first seizures,” Tremont-Lukats said. “These drugs are more specific and have fewer side effects, but we still do not know scientifically if they have a protective effect.”

Tremont-Lukats stressed that this recommendation is only for those who do not have a history of having seizures. If someone has a seizure, then antiepileptic drugs are indicated.

“If a physician wants to put a patient on these medications for more than seven days after surgery, then there may be a problem that the patient should bring up with their doctor,” says Tremont-Lukats. “After a week, there is no evidence that they help and ample evidence of side effects.”

Omkar Markand, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said that automatically placing people with brain tumors on antiepileptic medications is a common occurrence despite there being no scientific proof that it is useful.

“There is good evidence that all three of the medications have side effects that need to be weighed against any possible benefits,” Markand said. “For those medications, the side effects are worse than any possible benefit. This research is another indication that patients should probably ask their neurosurgeon or other physician if it is really necessary to place them on antiepileptic medication prior to experiencing a seizure.”

Markand stressed that recommendations based on this review are only applicable to the older medications phenytoin, phenobarbital and divalproex sodium.

“The take-home message is that the patients should not accept an automatic placement on antiepileptic medications,” Markand said. “They should ask questions about why these drugs are being prescribed. The needs of the individual should be determined instead of putting everyone on antiepileptic medications.”

Lisa Esposito | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfah.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>