Vimpat is approved for use in combination with other seizure medications to treat partial seizures in people age 17 years old and older. Although it is not quite clear as to how Vimpat works, it is thought that this medication may control seizures by affecting sodium channels in the brain, preventing the abnormal activity from "firing" and spreading to other parts of the brain. Possible off-label uses of Vimpat include treating diabetic neuropathic pain.
What Is Vimpat Used For?Vimpat® (lacosamide) is a prescription seizure medication. Specifically, it is approved for use in combination with other seizure medications to treat partial-onset seizures in people age 17 years old and older.
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. These seizures are generally classified into two main categories -- partial-onset seizures (also known as focal seizures or partial seizures) and generalized seizures.
Partial seizures occur in just one part of the brain. Two types of partial-onset seizures are:
- Simple partial seizures, in which a person will remain conscious, but experiences unusual feelings or sensations that can take many forms.
- Complex partial seizures, in which a person has a change or loss of consciousness. People having a complex partial seizure may display strange, repetitious behaviors, such as blinks, twitches, mouth movements, or even walking in a circle.
A seizure can start out as a partial seizure before turning into a generalized seizure (this is known as secondary generalization). Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal brain activity on both sides of the brain. These seizures may cause loss of consciousness, falls, or massive muscle spasms. The two most common forms are absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal seizures).
As is typical with new seizure medications, Vimpat is not approved for use by itself, as it has not been adequately studied for such use. In studies, people were given either Vimpat or a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) to take in addition to their usual seizure medications, because it would be unethical to give a person with epilepsy just a placebo (without the other medications).