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Efficacy and Safety of Lacosamide in Diabetic Neuropathic Pain: An 18-week Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial of Fixed-dose Regimens

Wymer, James P. MD, PhD*; Simpson, Jeffrey PhD; Sen, David PhD; Bongardt, Sabine MSon behalf of the Lacosamide SP742 Study Group

The Clinical Journal of Pain: June 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 376-385
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318196d2b6
Original Articles

Objectives The aims of this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial were to confirm the efficacy of lacosamide at a daily dose of 400 mg/d and to explore the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lacosamide 200 mg/d and 600 mg/d in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.

Methods The trial consisted of a 2-week run-in period, a 6-week titration phase, and a 12-week maintenance phase, during which patients received placebo or fixed doses of lacosamide 200, 400, or 600 mg/d. No back titration was allowed during the trial. The primary efficacy criterion was the change in Likert pain score from baseline to the average over the last 4 weeks of the maintenance phase in the intent-to-treat population.

Results The lacosamide 400 mg/d group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in Likert pain score over placebo for the primary efficacy measure. At the end of treatment, 58% of patients in the lacosamide 400 mg/d treatment group achieved at least a 2-point or 30% reduction in Likert pain score, compared with 46% of placebo-treated patients. The lacosamide 200 mg/d group separated from placebo, but failed to show statistical significance for any of the primary or secondary outcome measures. The lacosamide 600 mg/d group was significantly more efficacious than placebo in the observed cases but not in the intent-to-treat population. This was probably secondary to a relatively high-premature withdrawal rate due to adverse events that occurred during the titration phase in that group. Overall lacosamide at daily doses of 200 to 400 mg was well tolerated, with 8% of patients discontinuing due to an adverse event from the 200 mg/d group and 23% from the 400 mg/d group compared with 9% in the placebo group. Discontinuations due to adverse events were highest in the 600 mg/d group (40%). The most common adverse events consisted of dizziness, nausea, tremor, headache, and fatigue. Somnolence, cognitive and behavioral side effects, weight change, and edema were notably low.

Discussion Safety and efficacy analyses indicated that lacosamide 400 mg/d provided an optimal balance between efficacy and side effects in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy.

*Upstate Clinical Research, Albany, NY

Schwarz Biosciences Inc, a member of the UCB Group, Research Triangle Park, NC

Schwarz Biosciences GmbH, a member of the UCB Group, Monheim, Germany

Financial Support: Schwarz Biosciences Gmbh, Monheim, Germany provided the trial supplies, and Schwarz Biosciences Inc, Research Triangle Park, NC sponsored and funded the trial.

Reprints: James P. Wymer, MD, PhD, Upstate Clinical Research, 3 Atrium Drive, Suite 205, Albany, NY 12205 (e-mail:

Received for publication June 17, 2008; accepted November 23, 2008

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.