Issues related to the pharmacological management of patients with brain tumours and epilepsy

Marta Maschio, Loredana Dinapoli, Alessia Zarabla, Bruno Jandolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The patient affected by epilepsy related to brain tumours presents certain features linked to the summation of his cancer-related problems and his epilepsy-related problems. Furthermore, epilepsy in brain tumour patients is often refractory to pharmacological treatments and can complicate the therapeutic management of these patients due to the increased incidence of pharmacological interactions and adverse effects. Analysis of the data in the literature suggests that it is opportune, w hen planning antiepileptic therapy in these cases, to choose the new-generation drugs, as these show a lower incidence of pharmacological interactions with the therapies used in brain tumour patients (chemotherapies, radiotherapy and support therapies), have fewer adverse effects, and have less impact on neuropsychological functions, all factors that strongly influence the patient's quality of life. Of the n ew antiepileptic drugs, the following seem to be promising in the treatment of cancer-related epilepsy: oxcarbazepine, topiramate and levetiracetam (the latter as an add-on therapy). The pharmacokinetic features of these drugs, their effectiveness in controlling seizures, and the reduced incidence of adverse effects make them useful in this particular group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional Neurology
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Adverse effects
  • AEDs
  • Brain tumours
  • Epilepsy
  • Interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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