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What Is Potiga & How Does It Treat Epilepsy?

Learn about the epilepsy medication Potiga from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.


Steve: Potiga, one of the newer anti seizure medications, otherwise known as retigabine and ezogabine, in the United States is a new potassium channel opening medication. So it's a new type of mechanism that we haven't seen in anti-seizure medications. It helps to stabilize neurons and not make them as excitable. It's an interesting medication.

Patty: It's been used in Europe. The first trials were done in Europe and was just introduced into the United States. People are finding that the biggest side-effects are some insomnia, sleepiness, some sedation, there can be some urinary retention issues and what the European people have told us is that, if you go slowly on increasing the dose, there's fewer of the side-effects.

Steve: Urinary retention issues have created a black box warning here in the United States. So it's important that if you are not urinating enough on the medication, that you discuss it with your doctors and caretakers. You monitor the patient very closely, and something that seems to be very easily correctable and by decreasing the drug, the side-effect goes away. But the sleepiness is a problem. What we found is, going very slowly, small doses increases, really seems to get that problem under control while the patients are getting used to the drug.

Patty: So the efficacy is good, but the problems are the side-effects. So as long as we go slow and increased slowly, fewer side-effects.

Steve: So Potiga indicated for partial complex seizures, seizures in one area of the brain, good medication works in different mechanisms than we've seen before. It's going to be used for those difficult to control and tractable epilepsy patients. So it's not going to be first-line. And major side-effects insomnial and urinary retention.

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