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Epilepsy drug Trobalt (retigabine) to be discontinued

The epilepsy drug Trobalt, also known as retigabine, is to be discontinued and will no longer be available after June 2017.

Trobalt, made by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been available in tablet form at 50mg, 100mg, 200mg, 300mg, and 400mg dosages.

Advice for healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals are advised to begin seeking alternative medicines for existing patients as soon as possible and to ensure that all patients are withdrawn from this medicine by the end of June 2017 at the latest.

Patients' treatment should be withdrawn with a gradual dose reduction over a period of at least three weeks, following current prescribing information. All patients should continue to receive safety monitoring in line with the local prescribing information while they remain on treatment with Trobalt. No new patients should now start on this treatment.

Safety issues

In 2013 GSK announced that there were safety issues around the drug as it could cause a blue discolouration of the skin and eye abnormalities. Doctors were urged to review patients prescribed the drug and to re-evaluate benefits versus risk.

However now, due to the very limited use of the medicine and the continued decline in new patients being prescribed Trobalt, GSK is discontinuing the medicine on a permanent basis.

Trobalt has been prescribed as an add-on treatment for drug-resistant partial onset seizures with or without secondary generalisation in people aged 18 or older.

More information

You can read more about anti-epileptic medication here.

 

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