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Pediatr Neurol. 2000 Aug;23(2):160-3.

Lamotrigine monotherapy in children.

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Section of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, M.S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine;, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.


The effectiveness of lamotrigine as a monotherapeutic agent for a variety of pediatric epilepsies was reviewed retrospectively. Children were categorized as having focal vs generalized epilepsy and according to whether they were antiepileptic drug naive or drug exposed. Data collected included dosages, side effects, length of follow-up, number of prior drugs, and treatment response. Treatment was considered successful if the patient was seizure free for 6 months or more. Eighty-three children were identified (average age = 8.7 years); 43 had focal epilepsy, 32 had generalized epilepsy, and eight were not classified. Twenty-nine patients were classified as having specific syndromes. Fourteen patients were drug naive. The median follow-up period was 8 months (mean = 8.5). Overall, 45% were seizure free, 44% with focal epilepsy and 36% with generalized epilepsy. All children with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood were seizure free, although not all had been treated for at least 6 months. One third of drug-naive patients were seizure free. Rash was the most common side effect and was reported in five patients (6%); two patients discontinued the drug. None had Stevens-Johnson syndrome. One quarter of children experienced nonquantifiable improvements, namely increased alertness and improved behavior regardless of seizure control. Lamotrigine is effective as a monotherapeutic agent in children for both focal and generalized epilepsies. Side effects are relatively uncommon. Lamotrigine may be an effective firstline agent.

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