Side Effects of Eslicarbazepine (Aptiom)
Eslicarbazepine is available under the brand Aptiom and is an anticonvulsant. Aptiom is a novel antiepileptic drug used for the treatment of partial-onset seizures as a monotherapy or combined with other drug treatments.
Aptiom works by stabilizing the inactive state of voltage-gated sodium channels, allowing for less sodium to enter neural cells, which leaves them in a more stable state, resulting in fewer seizures.
Warnings Before Aptiom Treatment
The FDA advises Aptiom is not for people with second- or third-degree atrioventricular block a type of heart block. Do not use Aptiom if you are allergic to any ingredient in eslicarbazepine or to oxcarbazepine (Trilepetal), you have severe liver problems, or you are taking oxcarbazepine. Ask your health care provider if Aptiom may interact with other medicines that you take. Patients who take Aptiom may be at risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Contact your doctor right away if any suicidal thoughts occur.
Serious Side Effects
Patients who take Aptiom are at risk for a serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson toxic epidermal necrolysis, commonly caused by drugs and infections. Symptoms include red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin, sores in the mouth, red or irritated eyes, or sores in the throat, nose, or eyes. Immediately receive medical help if these signs show.
A serious and sometimes fatal side effect called angioedema has also been reported with the use of this medication. Contact a physician if swelling develops in the hands, face, lips eyes, throat or tongue and if there is difficulty swallowing or breathing, or hoarseness. Another serious side effect is low sodium levels.
Contact your physician right way if you have:
- Decreased coordination
- Mental or mood changes
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
It is possible to lessen the side effects of Aptiom and other medications by taking advantage of advances in pharmacogenetics. Pharmacogenetics is the study of population genetics and specifically, the study of variation in drug processing (metabolism) genes. The drug metabolizing genes are responsible for making the enzymes that process or metabolize medications. You can have yourself tested for genetic variations by asking your physician to prescribe the Rxight test from MD Labs. This test will give your physician the ability to prescribe drugs more safely, and possibly avoid drugs that are not safe for your specific genetic variations.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
The Rxight® test is a state of the art platform that allows the determination of variation in your genetic makeup that may affect your ability to metabolize over 200 drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The test is a simple cheek swab and makes your DNA information available to your provider. Ask your physician today to prescribe the Rxight® pharmacogenetics test. In this way, your physician can employ individualized care for you, the patient.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Individualized Medicine