Department of Neurology

Time-release therapies for epilepsy

Q: I would like to know if there is any research being done so that people can use a patch instead of a pill, or maybe an inplant such as Norplant does for birth control. My son takes phenytoin (Dilantin) and he often forgets to take it or he just gets tired of taking it and after a while he will have another seizure. He says that if they would come up with a patch or an implant he would use it. Please let me know if any of these options will be available in the near future.

Thank you

A: Compliance with medications is always a problem, and you are correct in assuming that this could be improved with patches or a similar means of drug administration. Unfortunately, patches can deliver only a small amount of medication and not enough for the amount needed for seizure therapy with current seizure medications. There are no patch seizure medications in development that I am aware of. However, there are plans for time release preparations for valproate (Depakene/Depakote) and there are two new preparations for carbazepine (Tegretol) currently available. These time release preparations will undoubtedly help patients take their medications on schedule and improve their seizure control. Although Dilanti

n has no time release preparation, some persons can take this medication once a day, due to the way it is metabolized. However, you must ask your doctor before making any changes to your therapy

Return to Question Page