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Pharmaco-EEG-based assessment of the interaction between ethanol and oxcarbazepine

Pharmacological Reports
DOI: 10.1016/s1734-1140(10)70267-x
  • Pharmaco-Eeg
  • Ethanol
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Rabbits
  • Pharmacology


Abstract Oxcarbazepine is a representative molecule for a new class of anticonvulsant drugs that can treat alcohol dependence in addition to other disorders. Interestingly, the central mechanism of action in oxcarbazepine is very similar to ethanol, suggesting that these two agents may interact and cause enhanced effects in the central nervous system. In this study, we used a pharmaco-EEG method to examine the influence of oxcarbazepine on the effect of ethanol on the EEG of rabbits (midbrain reticular formation, hippocampus, frontal cortex). Oxcarbazepine was administered po as a single dose (20mg/kg or 80mg/kg) or repeatedly at a dose of 40mg/kg/day for 14days. Ethanol was injected iv at a dose of 0.8g/kg 60min after the administration of oxcarbazepine. Ethanol caused an increase in the low frequencies (0.5–4Hz) in the recordings, and it caused a marked decrease in higher frequencies (13–30Hz and 30–45Hz). Oxcarbazepine altered the EEG pattern in rabbits; this interaction was dependent on the dose of the drug and whether it was administered as a single dose or as multiple doses. Oxcarbazepine administered at a lower dose had a synergistic effect with ethanol in the frontal cortex and midbrain reticular formation, and a similar effect was observed in the hippocampus at a higher dose. Changes in EEG recordings after the administration of oxcarbazepine alone were more pronounced after multiple administrations. The drug decreased the sensitivity of the hippocampus to ethanol, an observation that may be important for the treatment of alcohol addiction.

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