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Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb;30(1):84-9.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


In 24 epileptic children refractory to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) with generalized tonic-clonic and other types of seizures, addition of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E 400 IU/day) to existing AEDs was accompanied by a significant reduction of seizures in 10 of 12 cases. This was significantly different from controls given placebo (0 of 12, p less than 0.05). This result did not appear to be due to the effects of changes in the plasma levels of the comedication. There were no adverse side effects. The Vitamin E levels steadily increased in the responders in the trial phase but this did not occur in two clinically noncompliant subjects or in 12 patients receiving placebo. No other clinically significant alterations in hematologic or biochemical test results were observed. No treatment-related changes in plasma concentration of concomitant AEDs were noted. These findings justify further clinical controlled trials of Vitamin E as adjunctive therapy for childhood epilepsy intractable to the usual antiepileptic therapy.

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