To optimize the use of phenobarbital and/or phenytoin as frontline drugs for treatment of childhood epilepsy.
Before-and -after study.
Epilepsy clinic at paediatric OPD, Sassoon General Hospital, Pune.
Materials and Methods:
Epilepsy is a condition in which seizures are triggered recurrently from within the brain. For epidemiological classification purpose epilepsy is considered to be present when two or more unprovoked seizures occur at an interval greater than twenty four hours apart. Seizures were classified as generalized and partial seizures, with underlying etiology investigated with EEG, CT scan in majority of the patients. Follow - up rate, seizure - control and antiepileptic drugs used among 151 children enrolled as on 31 March 2005 were compared with 106 children with new onset epilepsy enrolled as on February 2006. Eight children with breakthrough convulsion after a seizure free period of five to eighteen months were followed up after injection vitamin D. Nineteen children with poor control of seizures receiving polytherapy with newer antiepileptic drugs were assessed with frontline antiepileptic medication of phenobarbital and/or phenytoin. Serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase were done in seventy two consecutive children with seizure disorder.
During post protocol period good seizure control was achieved in 84.8% as against 80.7% and use of phenobarbital and/or phenytoin increased to 65.11% from 22.87%. Of the 8 cases with breakthrough seizures seven remained seizure free after vitamin D administration and with no dose enhancement of AED medications of the nineteen. Children receiving polytherapy thirteen children could be successfully switched to phenobarbital and/or phenytoin. Forty four (61%) children had hypocalcemia (less than 9 mg%), fifty seven (79%) children had raised alkaline phosphatase levels (more than 270 IU).
Phenobarbital and/or phenytoin have been found to be effective frontline AED. Periodic administration of vitamin D plays a supportive role.
Keywords: Childhood epilepsy, phenobarbitone