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Review
, (11), CD010483

Antiepileptic Drugs for the Treatment of Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy in Infancy

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Review

Antiepileptic Drugs for the Treatment of Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy in Infancy

Francesco Brigo et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.

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Abstract

Background: Severe myoclonic epilepsy in infants (SMEI), also known as Dravet syndrome, is a rare, refractory form of epilepsy, for whose treatment stiripentol (STP) has been recently licensed for add-on use.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of STP and other antiepileptic drug treatments (including ketogenic diet) as therapy for patients with SMEI.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Epilepsy Group Specialised Register (15 May 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, Issue 4 of 12, The Cochrane Library, April 2013), MEDLINE (1946 to May 2013) and SCOPUS (1823 to May 2013). The online trials registries ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were systematically searched. The bibliographies of any identified study were searched for further references. We handsearched selected journals and conference proceedings. No language restrictions were imposed.

Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-randomised controlled trials; double- or single-blinded or unblinded trials; and parallel-group studies. Administration of at least one antiepileptic drug therapy given singly (monotherapy) or in combination (add-on therapy) compared with add-on placebo or no add-on treatment.

Data collection and analysis: Review authors independently selected trials for inclusion according to predefined criteria, extracted relevant data and evaluated the methodological quality of trials. The following outcomes were assessed: at least 50% seizure reduction, seizure freedom, adverse effects, proportion of dropouts and quality of life. Outcomes were assessed using a Mantel-Haenszel meta-analysis to calculate risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).

Main results: No RCTs assessing drugs other than STP were found. Two RCTs evaluating the use of STP (total of 64 children) were included. Both studies were generally at unclear risk of bias. A significantly higher proportion of participants had 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency in the STP group compared with the placebo group (22/33 vs 2/31; RR 10.40, 95% CI 2.64 to 40.87). A significantly higher proportion of participants achieved seizure freedom in the STP group compared with the placebo group (12/33 vs 1/31; RR 7.93, 95% CI 1.52 to 41.21). No significant difference in the proportion of dropouts was found in the STP group compared with the placebo group (2/33 vs 8/31; RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.03). Only one study explicitly reported the occurrence of side effects; higher proportions of participants were reported to experience side effects in the STP group compared with the placebo group (100% vs 25%; RR 3.73, 95% CI 1.81 to 7.67).

Authors' conclusions: Data derived from two small RCTs indicate that STP is significantly better than placebo with regards to 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency and seizure freedom. Adverse effects occurred more frequently with STP. Further adequately powered studies with long-term follow-up should be conducted to unequivocally establish the long-term efficacy and tolerability of STP in the treatment of SMEI.

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