NICE recommends retigabine as a possible add-on (also known as adjunctive) treatment for partial onset seizures with or without secondary generalisation in some people with epilepsy (see below).

Who can have retigabine?

If you are 18 or over, you should be able to have retigabine as an add-on treatment for partial onset seizures if you have tried drugs called carbamazepine, clobazam, gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, sodium valproate and topiramate but they have not worked well or you had a bad reaction to them.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended retigabine in these circumstances because it works as well and costs about the same as other treatments that are available on the NHS after carbamazepine, clobazam, gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, sodium valproate and topiramate have already been tried.

In May 2013, the therapeutic indication for retigabine has been restricted by the European Medicines Agency as follows (change in bold): Trobalt is indicated as adjunctive treatment of drug-resistant partial onset seizures with or without secondary generalization in patients aged 18 years or older with epilepsy, where other appropriate drug combinations have proved inadequate or have not been tolerated.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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