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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2012 Sep;16(5):536-41.
doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Efficacy and Safety of Intravenous Sodium Valproate Versus Phenobarbital in Controlling Convulsive Status Epilepticus and Acute Prolonged Convulsive Seizures in Children: A Randomised Trial

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Efficacy and Safety of Intravenous Sodium Valproate Versus Phenobarbital in Controlling Convulsive Status Epilepticus and Acute Prolonged Convulsive Seizures in Children: A Randomised Trial

Reza Azizi Malamiri et al. Eur J Paediatr Neurol. .

Abstract

Status epilepticus and acute prolonged seizures are the most commonly occurring neurological emergencies in children. Such events have high morbidity and mortality rates along with poor long-term outcomes, depending on their duration and causes. Therefore, such seizures warrant urgent treatment using appropriate doses of anticonvulsants. Benzodiazepines, phenobarbital, and phenytoin are the most commonly used anticonvulsants for controlling status epilepticus and acute prolonged seizures. However, these medications have several well-known adverse effects. Previous studies on both adults and children have shown the efficacy and safety of rapid infusion of valproate in controlling status epilepticus. However, few well-designed randomised trials have been carried out in children, and there remains a paucity of data regarding intravenous sodium valproate use in children. Therefore, our aim was to compare the efficacy and safety of rapid loading of valproate with those of intravenous phenobarbital in children with status epilepticus and acute prolonged seizures. Sixty children (30 in each group) with convulsive status epilepticus and acute prolonged seizures were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive either valproate or phenobarbital. The main outcome variable was termination of all convulsive activity within 20 min of starting anticonvulsant infusion. Intravenous rapid loading of valproate was successful in seizure termination in (27/30, 90%) of patients compared to phenobarbital (23/30, 77%) (p = 0.189). Clinically significant adverse effects occurred in 74% patients of the phenobarbital group and 24% patients of the valproate group (p < 0.001). In conclusion, rapid loading of valproate is effective and safe in controlling convulsive status epilepticus and acute prolonged convulsive seizures in children. Intravenous valproate should be considered as a suitable choice for terminating status epilepticus and acute prolonged seizures in children.

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