Eslicarbazepine acetate as adjunctive therapy in patients with uncontrolled partial-onset seizures: Results of a phase III, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Epilepsia. 2015 Feb;56(2):244-53. doi: 10.1111/epi.12894. Epub 2014 Dec 22.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjunctive eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL) in patients with refractory partial-onset seizures.

Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group, phase III study was conducted at 173 centers in 19 countries, including the United States and Canada. Eligible patients were aged ≥16 years and had uncontrolled partial-onset seizures despite treatment with 1-2 antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). After an 8-week baseline period, patients were randomized to once-daily placebo (n = 226), ESL 800 mg (n = 216), or ESL 1,200 mg (n = 211). Following a 2-week titration period, patients received ESL 800 or 1,200 mg once-daily for 12 weeks. Seizure data were captured and documented using event-entry or daily entry diaries.

Results: Standardized seizure frequency (SSF) during the maintenance period (primary end point) was reduced with ESL 1,200 mg (p = 0.004), and there was a trend toward improvement with ESL 800 mg (p = 0.06), compared with placebo. When data for titration and maintenance periods were combined, ESL 800 mg (p = 0.001) and 1,200 mg (p < 0.001) both reduced SSF. There were no statistically significant interactions between treatment response and geographical region (p = 0.38) or diary version (p = 0.76). Responder rate (≥50% reduction in SSF) was significantly higher with ESL 1,200 mg (42.6%, p < 0.001) but not ESL 800 mg (30.5%, p = 0.07) than placebo (23.1%). Incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and TEAEs leading to discontinuation increased with ESL dose. The most common TEAEs were dizziness, somnolence, nausea, headache, and diplopia.

Significance: Adjunctive ESL 1,200 mg once-daily was more efficacious than placebo in adult patients with refractory partial-onset seizures. The once-daily 800 mg dose showed a marginal effect on SSF, but did not reach statistical significance. Both doses were well tolerated. Efficacy assessment was not affected by diary format used.

Keywords: Adjunctive therapy; Antiepileptic drugs; Eslicarbazepine acetate; North America; Partial-onset seizures; Refractory epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Dibenzazepines / administration & dosage
  • Dibenzazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Dibenzazepines
  • eslicarbazepine acetate