Adjunctive Cenobamate for Focal-Onset Seizures in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Lattanzi, Simona; Trinka, Eugen; Zaccara, Gaetano; Striano, Pasquale; Del Giovane, Cinzia; Silvestrini, Mauro; Brigo, Francesco (2020). Adjunctive Cenobamate for Focal-Onset Seizures in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. CNS drugs, 34(11), pp. 1105-1120. Springer 10.1007/s40263-020-00759-9

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Cenobamate is a novel tetrazole-derived carbamate compound with a dual mechanism of action. This drug can enhance the inactivated state of voltage-gated sodium channels, preferentially inhibiting the persistent component of the sodium channel current, and acts as a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, binding at a non-benzodiazepine site.


We assessed the efficacy and safety of adjunctive cenobamate for the treatment of focal-onset seizures in adult patients with epilepsy using meta-analytical techniques.


We systematically searched (May, week 4, 2020) MEDLINE (accessed by PubMed), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and the US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Registry ( ). There were no date limitations or language restrictions. Randomized, placebo-controlled, single or double-blinded, add-on trials of cenobamate in adult patients with uncontrolled focal-onset seizures were identified. Main outcomes included the proportion of patients with ≥ 50 and 100% reduction in seizure frequency during the maintenance treatment period compared with baseline and the incidence of treatment withdrawal and adverse events (AEs). Risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was estimated for each outcome.


Two trials were included, overall enrolling 659 patients (442 for the add-on cenobamate group and 217 for the add-on placebo group). Seizure frequency reduction by at least 50% occurred during the maintenance phase in 50.1% of the patients randomized to cenobamate and 23.5% of the placebo-treated participants (RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.67-2.85; p < 0.001). The pooled estimated RR to achieve seizure freedom for the cenobamate group in comparison with placebo was 3.71 (95% CI 1.93-7.14; p < 0.001). Withdrawal from randomized treatment occurred in 16.7 and 11.1% of participants receiving cenobamate and placebo, respectively (RR 1.34, 95% CI 0.85-2.09; p = 0.205). Treatment was discontinued due to AEs in 12.2 and 4.1% of the patients in the active and control arms (RR 2.27, 95% CI 1.08-4.79; p = 0.031). AEs were reported in 76.9 and 66.8% of the patients during treatment with cenobamate and placebo (RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.26; p = 0.021). The cenobamate-associated AEs included somnolence, dizziness, fatigue, balance disorder, and diplopia.


Adjunctive cenobamate in adult patients with uncontrolled focal-onset seizures is associated with a greater reduction in seizure frequency and a higher rate of AEs than placebo.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

UniBE Contributor:

Del Giovane, Cinzia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2020 16:59

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:40

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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