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Psychiatric and cognitive adverse events: A pooled analysis of three phase III trials of adjunctive eslicarbazepine acetate for partial-onset seizures

Journal article
Authors E. Andermann
V. Biton
S. R. Benbadis
B. Shneker
A. K. Shah
M. Carreño
E. Trinka
Elinor Ben-Menachem
A. Biraben
F. Rocha
H. Gama
H. Cheng
D. Blum
Published in Epilepsy and Behavior
Volume 82
Pages 119-127
ISSN 1525-5050
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages 119-127
Language en
Keywords Adverse events, Cognitive, Epilepsy, Eslicarbazepine acetate, Partial seizures, Psychiatric
Subject categories Psychiatry


Objective: To evaluate the nature and incidence of psychiatric and cognitive adverse events (AEs) reported with eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) used as adjunctive treatment for refractory partial-onset seizures (POS) in adults. Methods: This was a post-hoc analysis of data pooled from three randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (BIA-2093-301, -302, -304). After an 8-week baseline period, patients received placebo or adjunctive ESL 400 mg (studies 301 and 302 only), 800 mg, or 1200 mg once daily (QD) for 14 weeks (2-week titration period, 12-week maintenance period). Psychiatric and cognitive AEs were identified from individual patient data. Suicidality was also evaluated using the Columbia-Classification Algorithm of Suicide Assessment (C-CASA), or the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS). P-values were obtained using the chi-square test of independence or Fisher's exact test, without correcting for multiplicity. Results: The analysis population included 1447 patients (ESL, n = 1021; placebo, n = 426). Psychiatric treatment-emergent AEs (TEAEs) occurred in 10.8% of patients receiving ESL, and in a comparable proportion (10.3%) of patients receiving placebo (p = 0.802). The incidence of depression and suicidality-related TEAEs was higher for ESL (7.4%) vs. placebo (3.8%) (p = 0.009). The occurrence of these TEAEs differed between treatment groups (p = 0.010), but there was no notable trend between increasing ESL dose and increasing incidence of depression and suicidality-related TEAEs. Aggression/hostility-related TEAEs occurred in <0.1% of patients taking ESL vs. 0.9% taking placebo. The incidence of cognitive TEAEs was higher for ESL (7.1%) vs. placebo (4.0%) (p = 0.023); incidences of memory impairment, attention disturbance, apathy, and aphasia were higher for ESL 1200 mg than for other treatment groups. Incidences of psychiatric and cognitive serious AEs were (0.6% and 0.2% with ESL, and 0.5% and 0% with placebo, respectively. Psychiatric and cognitive TEAEs leading to discontinuation occurred in 1.9% and 1.4% of patients taking ESL. and 0.7% and 0.5% taking placebo, respectively. Conclusions: In phase III clinical trials of adjunctive ESL for treatment-refractory POS, psychiatric and cognitive TEAEs were reported infrequently with ESL and placebo. The incidences of depression and suicidality-related TEAEs and of cognitive TEAEs were higher for patients taking ESL vs. placebo. Incidences of psychiatric and cognitive SAEs, and TEAEs leading to discontinuation, were low with ESL and placebo. © 2017

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