Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of add-on rufinamide in children with refractory epilepsy symptomatic of neuronal migration disorders.
Materials and methods: We recruited 69 patients in a prospective, open-label, add-on treatment study from six Italian and one German centers for pediatric and adolescent epilepsy care according to the following criteria: age 3 or above; focal or generalized seizures refractory to at least three previous antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), alone or in combination, secondary to neuronal migration disorders; two or more seizures per month in the last 6 months; use of another AED, but no more than three, at baseline. Informed consent from parents and/or caregivers was obtained at the time of enrollment.
Results: We enrolled 69 patients with a mean age of 15 years (range 3-43). Forty-three patients (62%) had a 50-99% seizure reduction, and two (3%) became seizure-free. Seizure frequency was unchanged in 18 (26%) and worsened in 6 (8.7%). Twenty-nine patients (42%) reported adverse side effects, whilst taking rufinamide. Irritability was the most common side effect (11 patients), followed by decreased appetite (10), mood shift (6), vomiting (5), drowsiness (4), and decreased attention (2). Blood levels of concomitant anticonvulsive drugs were transiently abnormal in 5 patients.
Conclusion: In our population of severely refractory epilepsy due to neuronal migration disorders, rufinamide appeared to be effective and generally well tolerated.
Keywords: Neuronal migration disorders; Partial epilepsy; Refractory seizures; Rufinamide.
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