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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Jan 2019 - 18 Jan 2019

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Feb 01




Lacosamide in patients with Nav1.7 mutations-related small fibre neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial.


de Greef BTA, Hoeijmakers JGJ, Geerts M, Oakes M, Church TJE, Waxman SG, Dib-Hajj SD, Faber CG, Merkies ISJ
Brain. 2019 Feb 01; 142(2):263-275.
PMID: 30649227.


Symptomatic treatment of neuropathic pain in small fibre neuropathy is often disappointing. The finding of voltage-gated sodium channel mutations in small fibre neuropathy (with mutations in SCN9A, encoding for Nav1.7) being most frequently reported suggest a specific target for therapy. The anticonvulsant lacosamide acts on Nav1.3, Nav1.7, and Nav1.8. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lacosamide as a potential treatment for pain in Nav1.7-related small fibre neuropathy. The Lacosamide-Efficacy-'N'-Safety in SFN (LENSS) was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover-design study. Subjects were recruited in the Netherlands between November 2014 and July 2016. Patients with Nav1.7-related small fibre neuropathy were randomized to start with lacosamide followed by placebo or vice versa. In both 8-week treatment phases, patients received 200 mg two times a day (BID), preceded by a titration period, and ended by a tapering period. The primary outcome was efficacy, defined as the proportion of patients with 1-point average pain score reduction compared to baseline using the Pain Intensity Numerical Rating Scale. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01911975. Twenty-four subjects received lacosamide, and 23 received placebo. In 58.3% of patients receiving lacosamide, mean average pain decreased by at least 1 point, compared to 21.7% in the placebo group [sensitivity analyses, odds ratio 5.65 (95% confidence interval: 1.83-17.41); P = 0.0045]. In the lacosamide group, 33.3% reported that their general condition improved versus 4.3% in the placebo group (P-value = 0.0156). Additionally, a significant decrease in daily sleep interference, and in surface pain intensity was demonstrated. No significant changes in quality of life or autonomic symptoms were found. Lacosamide was well tolerated and safe in use. This study shows that lacosamide has a significant effect on pain, general wellbeing, and sleep quality. Lacosamide was well tolerated and safe, suggesting that it can be used for pain treatment in Nav1.7-related small fibre neuropathy.