What Is Lacosamide Used For?
Although lacosamide is approved to treat partial seizures, it can also be prescribed off-label to treat conditions such as diabetic neuropathic pain. While it is not exactly known how lacosamide works, this medication may affect sodium channels in the brain, which prevents abnormal activity from "firing" and spreading to other parts of the brain. The uses for lacosamide are approved for people age 17 years old and older.
Lacosamide (Vimpat®) is a prescription seizure medication. Specifically, it is approved for use in combination with other seizure medications to treat partial-onset seizures in people age 17 years old and older.
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial-onset seizures (also known as focal seizures or partial seizures) and generalized seizures.
Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. Two types of partial-onset seizures are:
- Simple partial seizures, in which a person will remain conscious, but experiences unusual feelings or sensations that can take many forms.
- Complex partial seizures, in which a person has a change or loss of consciousness. People having a complex partial seizure may display strange, repetitious behaviors, such as blinks, twitches, mouth movements, or even walking in a circle.
A seizure can start out as a partial seizure before turning into a generalized seizure (this is known as secondary generalization). Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal brain activity on both sides of the brain. These seizures may cause loss of consciousness, falls, or massive muscle spasms. The two most common forms are absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures).
As is typical with new seizure medications, lacosamide is not approved for use by itself, as it has not been adequately studied for such use. In studies, people were given either lacosamide or a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) to take in addition to their usual seizure medications, because it would be unethical to give a person with epilepsy just a placebo (without the other medications).