Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pharmacology makes me fit with rage

*sigh* Antiepileptics represent the reason I have always hated pharmacology. Rang & Dale cover fourteen antiepileptics, each of them different enough from each other that you have to learn them separately. They don't lend themselves at all to summarisation and several of them don't even have understood mechanisms of action. So instead of making fourteen rather repetitive pictures I've drawn a reference table. If you want to learn these drugs get Rang and Dale, this is just a memory tool (which most of this blog is supposed to be, but these especially) for revision. There are three major methods of action of antiepileptics, Na+ channel blockers, Ca2+ channel blockers and GABA agonists. They treat three types of seizures, partial seizures, generalised seizures (tonic-clonic) and generalised (absent).
Phenytoin - Sodium channel blocker - All but absent
Carbamazepine - Sodium channel blocker - All but absent
Valproate - Weak calcium channel blocker and is possibly a GABA agonist - All types
Levetiracetam - Mechanism unknown - Partial seizures
Phenobarbital - GABA agonist and possibly a sodium channel blocker - All except absent seizures
Benzodiazepines - Strong GABA agonist - All seizures but is usually only used in status epilepticus
Vigabatam - GABA transaminase inhibitor - All seizures, even when there are drug resistances
Lamotrigine - Sodium channel and possibly and calcium channel blocker - All types
Gabapentin - Not actually a GABA agonist, but may be a Ca2+ channel blocker - Partial seizures
Felbamate - NMDA antagonist and possibly a Calcium channel blocker -
Tiagabine - GABA agonist and inhibits GABA reuptake - Partial seizures
Topiramate - Unknown mechanism - All except absent
Ethosuxamide - Strong Calcium channel blocker - Absent seizures, exaggerates tonic-clonic seizures
Zonisamide - Sodium channel blocker - Partial seizures

Tomorrow I'll put up the kidney drugs. They're much more fun. :D

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