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BMJ. 2007 Jun 9;334(7605):1207. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Side effects of phenobarbital and carbamazepine in childhood epilepsy: randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Child Development and Neurology Unit, Dhaka Shishu (Children's) Hospital, Bangladesh Institute of Child Health, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the behavioural side effects associated with two commonly used antiepilepsy drugs-phenobarbital and carbamazepine-in children in Bangladesh.

DESIGN:

Prospective randomised controlled single centre trial.

SETTING:

Specialist children's hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

PARTICIPANTS:

108 children aged 2-15 with generalised tonic-clonic (n=51) or partial and secondary generalised seizures (n=57).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Seizure control and behavioural side effects.

RESULTS:

91 children were followed up for 12 months. Six required a change of antiepilepsy drug. Side effects were compared in 85 children. In the last quarter of the 12 month follow-up, 71 children were seizure free after one year's treatment. Thirty two in the phenobarbital group and 39 in the carbamazepine group had no seizures in 74 and 102 days after randomisation, respectively. Ten children had increased behavioural problems, which were unacceptable in four (one in the phenobarbital group and three in the carbamazepine group). Independent t tests, however, showed no difference between the two trial drugs.

CONCLUSION:

There was no excess in behavioural side effects with phenobarbital in children with epilepsy in a country with limited resources. Trial registration NCT00381537.

PMID:
17145735
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1889987
Free PMC Article
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