BACKGROUND: Clinical data regarding use of newer antiseizure medications (ASMs) in an older population are limited. In randomized-controlled, placebo-controlled trials, older patients are under-represented, and protocols deviate markedly from routine clinical practice, limiting the external validity of results. Studies performed in a naturalistic setting are a useful complement to characterize the drug profile. Perampanel is a third-generation ASM and the first and only non-competitive alfa-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptor antagonist.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness and tolerability of adjunctive perampanel over a 1-year period in a population of older patients with epilepsy treated in a real-world setting.
METHODS: Older (≥ 65 years of age) patients prescribed add-on perampanel at 12 Italian epilepsy centers were retrospectively identified. Seizure occurrence, adverse events (AEs), and drug withdrawal were analyzed. Effectiveness outcomes included the rates of seizure response (≥ 50% reduction in baseline monthly seizure frequency), seizure freedom, and treatment discontinuation. Safety and tolerability outcomes were the rate of treatment discontinuation due to AEs and the incidence of AEs.
RESULTS: A total of 92 patients with a median age of 69 (range 65-88) years were included. The median daily dose of perampanel at 12 months was 6 mg (interquartile range 4-6 mg). At 12 months, 53 (57.6%) patients were seizure responders, and 22 (23.9%) patients were seizure free. Twenty (21.7%) patients discontinued perampanel; the reasons for treatment withdrawal were insufficient efficacy (n = 6/20; 30.0%), AEs (n = 12/20; 60.0%), and a combination of both (n = 2/20; 10%). The most common AEs included irritability (8.7%), somnolence (4.3%), and dizziness/vertigo (4.3%). The rate of behavioral and psychiatric AEs was higher in patients with history of psychiatric comorbidities (p = 0.044). There were no differences in the occurrence of behavioral and psychiatric AEs according to the concomitant use of levetiracetam (p = 0.776) and history of cognitive decline (p = 0.332).
CONCLUSIONS: Adjunctive perampanel was associated with improvement in seizure control and good tolerability in a real-life setting and can represent a viable therapeutic option in older patients with epilepsy.