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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2011 Feb;12(2):175-94. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2010.517194. Epub 2011 Jan 6.

Pharmacotherapy for children and adolescents with epilepsy.

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University of Chieti, Department of Pediatrics, Ospedale Policlinico, Via dei Vestini 5, Chieti, Italy.



Childhood epilepsies are the most frequent neurological problems that occur in children. Despite the introduction of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) 25-30% of children with epilepsy remain refractory to medical therapy.


This review aims to highlight the main published data on the treatment of childhood epilepsy. The electronic database, PubMed, and abstract proceedings were used to identify studies. The aim of antiepileptic therapy should be to provide complete seizure control, if possible without the burden of any side effect. Since 1993, new agents have been approved for use as an antiepileptic. Although there are few published data (especially in pediatric populations) to establish that the second-generation AEDs are more efficacious than the older AEDs, they appear to have better tolerability.


Old AEDs are efficacious agents that continue to play a major role in the current treatment of epilepsy. These agents actually remain the first-line treatment for many specific seizure types or epileptic syndromes. The new AEDs were initially approved as adjunct agents and--subsequently--as monotherapy for various seizure types in the adult and children. Despite these improvements, few AEDs are now considered to be a first-choice for the treatment of epilepsy in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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