How is epilepsy managed in patients with hepatic and renal insufficiency?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Gabapentin, pregabalin, levetiracetam, and lacosamide are excreted mostly by means of renal clearance, and their doses can be adjusted for renal insufficiency. These agents are useful in patients with hepatic failure, especially when a drug-induced etiology is suspected. Lamotrigine, which is metabolized by means of glucuronidation, a phase II reaction, is also used in some patients with hepatic insufficiency.

Considerable data are available on the use of phenytoin in the presence of hepatic and renal insufficiency. However, phenytoin is not a preferred medication because of its nonlinear kinetics, hepatic autoinduction, numerous drug interactions, and high degree of protein binding. Among all anticonvulsants, phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid, and felbamate have been associated with acute hepatic injury.


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