What is the role of sodium channel blockers in the treatment of epilepsy?

Updated: Jan 28, 2020
  • Author: Juan G Ochoa, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Sodium channel blockade is the most common and best-characterized mechanism of currently available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). AEDs that target sodium channels prevent the return of the channels to the active state by stabilizing the inactive form. In doing so, repetitive firing of the axons is prevented. Presynaptic and postsynaptic blockade of sodium channels of the axons causes stabilization of the neuronal membranes, blocks and prevents posttetanic potentiation, limits the development of maximal seizure activity, and reduces the spread of seizures.


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