17-05-2017| Discontinuation of Trobalt (Retigabine) from June 2017

17 May 2017
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The anti-epileptic drug Trobalt (Retigabine) is being discontinued from June 2017 and will no longer be available from that date.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturers of Trobalt first contacted health care professionals in June 2016 to advise that the drug would be permanently unavailable from June 2017.

Trobalt was already subject to restricted use as an add-on therapy for drug resistant partial onset seizures in those 18 and over since 2013. This was due to reported side effects such as changes in pigment colour of the eye found in patients on high doses long term as well as of the skin, lips and nails in some.

However, GSK have advised that the decision to discontinue Trobalt is due to the low numbers currently on this drug and the decline in new patients being started on it, and not due to any further safety concerns.

The letter sent to health care professionals in June 2016 was re-issued last month to remind health care professionals that the medication in all its dose formats 50mg/100mg/200mg/300mg/400mg will be unavailable commercially after June 2017 and advising health care professionals to identify suitable alternatives for any patients who are on this drug.

If you are currently taking Trobalt your doctor should have already discussed taking you off it and perhaps changing to another drug. If you have not spoken to your doctor about it is very important to contact them now to discuss coming off this drug safely and gradually under medical supervision before the end of June while stocks are still available. It is very important that you don't stop taking this drug by yourself but that you are supervised and guided by your treating doctor.

For further information, please contact Epilepsy Ireland at 01 4557500 or your local Epilepsy Ireland office.

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