Successful treatment with adjunctive lacosamide in a patient with long term “drug resistant” focal epilepsy
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Introduction. A significant number of patients suffering from epilepsy prove to be resistant to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Recent studies, however, suggest that 10–20% of seemingly drug resistant patients may still become seizure-free under the influence of subsequent dosage modifications.Case report. We report on a young man with cryptogenic focal epilepsy. He had his first seizure at the age of fifteen. His seizure frequency was decreased during the following 11 years. However, seizure-freedom was never achieved even though he was treated with twelve to fourteen different AEDs during this time. Intensive presurgical evaluations did not allow identification of a surgically remediable focus. Adjunctive treatment with lacosamide 400 mg/day was not successful. However, the patient became seizure-free immediately after an increase of the lacosamide dose up to 500 mg/day. The patient is now seizure-free for more than two years based on a combination of 500 mg lacosamide and 350 mg lamotrigine, followed by 550 mg and 250 mg, respectively.Discussion and conclusion. This case report highlights that there is always a chance that modifying the medication can result in a drug-resistant epilepsy patient experiencing a significant reduction of seizures and becoming seizure-free. The decisive step in this example was the off-label prescription of a high dose of lacosamide which the patient tolerated well.
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