Phenobarbital compared with carbamazepine in prevention of recurrent febrile convulsions. A double-blind study

Am J Dis Child. 1983 Sep;137(9):892-5. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140350066016.


In a double-blind trial, children who had recurrent and/or complex febrile convulsions were treated with either phenobarbital sodium or carbamazepine. Forty children were suitable for analysis; 19 were receiving carbamazepine, and 21 were receiving phenobarbital. Of the carbamazepine-treated patients, nine (47%) had recurrent convulsions despite therapeutic levels of the drug, while only two (10%) of the phenobarbital-treated patients suffered further seizures. These results confirm previous findings suggesting that carbamazepine is not as effective in the prophylactic treatment of febrile convulsions as phenobarbital.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Carbamazepine / adverse effects
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenobarbital / adverse effects
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Recurrence
  • Seizures, Febrile / genetics
  • Seizures, Febrile / prevention & control*


  • Carbamazepine
  • Phenobarbital