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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


CHUANG, Eunice et al. First, do no harm: the risks of overtreating children with epilepsy. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.65, n.1, pp.1-4. ISSN 0004-282X.

BACKGROUND: Although overtreatment with antiepileptic drugs contributes to the morbidity associated with epilepsy, many children still are overtreated. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if the withdrawal of at least one antiepileptic drug (AED) in children with refractory epilepsy using polytherapy enable a better seizure control. METHOD: This was a prospective study. Children with refractory epilepsy using at least two AEDs were included. Once the patient, or guardian, agreed to participate in the study, one or more AED were slowly tapered off. The remaining AEDs dosages could be adjusted as needed, but a new AED could not be introduced. RESULTS: Fifteen patients were evaluated, three girls; ages ranging from 3 to 18 (mean=8.7 years). After at least one AED withdrawal, two (13.5%) patients became seizure free, seizures improved >50% in 5 (33.5%) patients, did not change in 5 (33.5%), and seizure frequency became worse in 3 (20%). Adverse events improved in 12 patients (80%). CONCLUSION: The withdrawal of at least one AED is a valuable option in the treatment of selected children with refractory epilepsy.

Keywords : epilepsy; children; antiepileptic drug; overtreatment.

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