Friday, July 11, 2008

FDA Advisers Reject Warnings on Antiepileptic Drugs


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An FDA advisory panel held hearings Thursday on the subject of adding "black box" warnings of a risk of increased suicidal thoughts to antiepileptic medications, which are also commonly used for migraine prevention.

Although the group recognized the apparent risk, it declined to recommend adoption of the warnings stating a worry they could scare epilepsy patients away from taking these medications.

Unfortunately, epilepsy is not the only condition treated with this category of medication. As Wired Magazine Science writer Brandon Keim wisely points out, 90% of sales of Pfizer's drug Neurontin were made to people using it for something other than epilepsy, such as migraines.

Migraineurs may have a different interest in seeing black box warnings on antiseizure medications. This is not to say that no rational migraineur would choose a medication in this category for migraine prevention, of course. However, the prevalence of depression among migraineurs makes it all the more important to be aware of the tendency of a medication to increase suicidal thoughts.

Related Posts:
FDA Review of Studies on Suicide & Seizure Meds Released
Follow Up: Antiepileptic Drugs and Suicidal Thoughts
Antiepileptic Meds Related to Suicidal Ideation

Sources:
FDA Holds Hearings on Epilepsy Drug Suicide Risk
US Advisers Reject Strong Epilepsy Drug Warning

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