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Bodyweight gain under pregabalin therapy in epilepsy: mitigation by counseling patients?

Bodyweight gain under pregabalin therapy in epilepsy: mitigation by counseling patients?

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    Objective:
    To evaluate bodyweight gain during pregabalin therapy for epilepsy and the utility of a short counseling program to prevent this side effect.

    Methods:
    Randomized controlled trial on the effects of extended versus standard patient counseling on the risk of bodyweight gain with 3- and 6-month follow-up including a consecutive sample of adult outpatients with epilepsy eligible for pregabalin add-on treatment (N = 98).

    Results:
    The seizure response rate was about 30%, the seizure freedom rate was 5% at the 6-month follow-up (intent-to-treat sample, N = 98). The median bodyweight gain for the according-to-protocol sample (N = 62) was 4.0 kg with no effect of extended counseling. Bodyweight gain was correlated with number of anticonvulsant drugs (r = .32, p < .05).

    Conclusions:
    Pregabalin treatment is associated with a high risk for bodyweight gain which in part depends on total anticonvulsant drug load. This side effect cannot be prevented by extended patient counseling within a standard clinical setting.