Felbamate demonstrates low propensity for interaction with methylxanthines and Ca2+ channel modulators against experimental seizures in mice

Eur J Pharmacol. 1998 Jul 10;352(2-3):207-14. doi: 10.1016/s0014-2999(98)00375-6.


The aim of this study was to determine the interaction potential of the new antiepileptic drug felbamate (2-phenyl-1,3-propanediol dicarbamate) with three Ca2+ channel blockers (nicardipine, nifedipine, and flunarizine), one Ca2+ channel activator (Bay K 8644; 1,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-5-nitro-4-[2-(trifluoromethyl)-phenyl]-3-pyridi ne carboxylic acid), and two methylxanthines (caffeine and aminophylline (theophylline2 . ethylenediamine)) which are all known to markedly change protective effects of conventional antiepileptic drugs. To do so, the maximal electroshock seizure test in mice (an experimental model predicting drug efficacy in the treatment of human generalized tonic-clonic seizures) was employed to (1) quantify changes in the protective efficacy and potency of felbamate produced by adjunct drugs and (2) assess the ability of aminophylline and caffeine to affect protective efficacy afforded by a submaximal protective dose of felbamate against maximal electroshock-induced seizures. Doses of adjunct drugs were selected based on their effects on the threshold for electroconvulsions and on appropriate literature. Nicardipine (10-30 mg/kg), nifedipine (5-20 mg/kg), flunarizine (2.5-10 mg/kg), Bay K 8644 (2.5-5 mg/kg), and aminophylline (50-75 mg/kg) did not change the protective efficacy and potency of felbamate against maximal electroshock-induced tonic convulsions. Aminophylline in the dose of 100 mg/kg, however, diminished the protective potency of felbamate as evidenced by a statistically significant increase in the protective ED50 value of felbamate (a dose, in mg/kg, predicted to protect 50% of mice against convulsive stimulus) from 79.6 to 118 mg/kg; P < 0.05). Aminophylline and caffeine only at high doses (100 and 161.7 mg/kg, respectively) significantly diminished the protective efficacy of felbamate (110 mg/kg) from 96% to 27% and 40% (P < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, felbamate shows low interaction potential with Ca2+ channel modulators and methylxanthines. Such low interaction potential clearly differentiates felbamate from conventional antiepileptic drugs where protective effects are readily altered by the compounds tested in the present study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminophylline / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Calcium Channels / drug effects*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Felbamate
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phenylcarbamates
  • Propylene Glycols / pharmacology*
  • Seizures / prevention & control*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Calcium Channels
  • Phenylcarbamates
  • Propylene Glycols
  • Aminophylline
  • Caffeine
  • Felbamate