Does anticonvulsant treatment influence pain perception in epileptic children?

Neuropediatrics. 2013 Jun;44(3):142-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1332740. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Background: The aims of our study were to evaluate pain perception in epileptic children and to establish the influence of anticonvulsant drugs on pain perception.

Methods: The study involved 40 children, 30 with epilepsy and 10 healthy control subjects. In the group of epileptic children, 10 were not treated and 20 assumed a single drug. From all children of each group, one sample of saliva was collected through a noninvasive device 15 minutes before (t0), during (t1), and 15 minutes after (t2) blood withdrawal, and salivary α-amylase activity was then determined.

Results: No statistically significant difference was found at t0 and at t1, indicating that in both groups venipuncture equally induced a state of stress. Conversely, at t2 a statistically significant difference (p = 0.0195) was found, suggesting that epileptic children presented a greater sensitization to pain and a slower recovery from stress. Comparing furthermore data obtained in children with epilepsy not treated with those registered in treated ones, we found a statistically significant difference at t0 (p = 0.012), at t1 (p = 0.037), and at t2 (p = 0.011).

Conclusions: Anticonvulsant drugs do not seem to influence pain perception and enzymatic activity levels in epileptic patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Epilepsy / classification
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Perception / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Salivary alpha-Amylases / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Salivary alpha-Amylases