Pharmacological reports : PR

Retigabine: the newer potential antiepileptic drug.

PMID 20508276


Retigabine represents an antiepileptic drug possessing a completely different mechanism of action when compared to the existing classical and newer antiepileptic drugs. In the therapeutic range, retigabine enhances potassium currents, very likely via destabilization of a closed conformation or stabilization of the open conformation of the potassium Kv7.2-7.3 channels. There are also data indicating that this drug may be a GABA enhancer. Kainate-induced status epilepticus in rats resulted in massive apoptosis in the pyriform cortex and hippocampal area - retigabine inhibited neurodegeneration only in the former brain structure. The metabolism of retigabine has nothing to do with cytochrome P450 enzymes and the drug undergoes glucuronidation and acetylation. Randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter studies have shown that retigabine produced a considerable improvement as an add-on drug in patients with partial drug-resistant epilepsy. The most prominent adverse effects due to retigabine combined with the existing antiepileptic treatment were dizziness, somnolence and fatigue. The preclinical data indicate that this antiepileptic drug may possibly be applied in patients with neuropathic pain and affective disorders. Initial clinical data suggest that retigabine may be also effective in Alzheimer's disease or stroke.