When adverse effects are seen as desirable: Abuse potential of the newer generation antiepileptic drugs
Abstract There has been growing recognition of the possible abuse potential of newer generation antiepileptic drugs, and several of these agents have been categorized as controlled substances in the United States. To properly schedule a new medication, the abuse potential, or the potential for a drug to be used for its nonmedical positive subjective effects, must be determined. Performing a human abuse potential study is one step in the overall abuse potential assessment. These studies analyze the abuse potential of a new drug in a very specific population of known recreational drug users. Studying the test drug in this population enables a more meaningful assessment of abuse, and likely represents the population most probable to abuse. In these double-blind, single-dose, active and placebo controlled studies subjects may report their subjective liking, estimated street value, and rate euphoric or depressive sensations of the test drug compared with placebo and scheduled active comparators with a known abuse potential. In order to provide an enhanced understanding of the abuse potential assessment and how it relates to controlled substance scheduling, this review will examine the human abuse potential studies of perampanel, eslicarbazepine, lacosamide, and brivaracetam. Highlights Growing evidence indicates that antiepileptic drugs have the potential to be abused. Human abuse potential studies are conducted to assess abuse liability of a medication. These studies enroll recreational drug users and assess subjective measures. Human abuse studies of antiepileptic drugs provide insight into drug scheduling.
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