The aim was to study the impact of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) on patients on lamotrigine (LTG) therapy and the evaluation of possible drug interactions, especially in triple antiepileptic drug combinations.Methods:
During the period of 2001–2014, 3118 predose samples were taken from 1137 patients >15 years of age as part of their routine TDM. Drug interactions were evaluated using calculation of LTG clearance (CL).Results:
Valproic acid (VPA) decreased LTG CL by 66% in bitherapy, and by 35% and 31% in triple therapy with carbamazepine (CBZ) and phenytoin (PHT), respectively. CBZ and PHT increased LTG CL by 52% and 96% in respective bitherapies but by 88% in triple therapy. Clonazepam, levetiracetam, and topiramate had no effect. The LTG therapeutic range (TR) was exceeded in 1% of cases in monotherapy, and in 4%–5% of cases in combination therapy. Only 54% of results were within the TR during 2001–2005, whereas 60%–62% were within the TR during 2006–2014. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were reported in 88 cases and occurred more frequently during TR during 2001–2005. Higher number of supratherapeutic levels in combination therapy led to a 3-fold higher incidence of ADR and poorer seizure control, as seizures occurred more often monthly (2.5%) or a few per year (41%) and fewer patients were seizure free (18%). Seizures occurred more often daily and monthly during the first period and in patients with 3 or 4 drugs in combination.Conclusions:
A significantly higher number of supratherapeutic levels were found in combinations with VPA, despite lower doses of LTG. Hepatic enzyme inducers, such as CBZ and PHT only partially compensated for the inhibitory effect of VPA. Decrease of both the frequency of seizures and the incidence of ADRs after TDM implementation suggests that TDM may have given clinicians the opportunity to achieve more optimal patient treatment.