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Indian Pediatr. 1993 May;30(5):637-42.

Role of phenobarbitone in preventing recurrence of febrile convulsions.

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Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, Egmore, Madras.


A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial was carried out to study the effect of phenobarbitone (PB) in preventing recurrences of simple and atypical febrile convulsions among children in the age group 6 months to 6 years. Children with simple febrile convulsions were randomly allocated to receive either phenobarbitone or placebo. Children with atypical convulsions were treated with phenobarbitone, as a third group. Thirty children were admitted in each group. All the children were followed up for a period of twelve months. Recurrence of convulsions and side effects of PB were recorded. Recurrence occurred in only 7% (95% confidence interval: 1-22) of children on Phenobarbitone, suffering from either simple or atypical febrile convulsions, compared to 53% (95% confidence interval: 34-72) of children on placebo, suffering from simple febrile convulsions. With Phenobarbitone, 5% of children had intolerable side effects. These results suggest that long term prophylaxis with phenobarbitone, even in simple febrile convulsions will be useful.

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