Original article

Korean J Pediatr 2016;59(1):35-39

Korean J Pediatr 2016;59(1):35-39 http://dx.doi.org/10.3345/kjp.2016.59.1.35 pISSN 1738-1061•eISSN 2092-7258

Korean J Pediatr

Intravenous levetiracetam versus phenobar­ bital in children with status epilepticus or acute repetitive seizures Yun-Jeong Lee, MD, Mi-Sun Yum, MD, Eun-Hee Kim, MD, Tae-Sung Ko, MD Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center Children’s Hospital, Seoul, Korea

Purpose: This study compared the efficacy and tolerability of intravenous (i.v.) phenobarbital (PHB) and i.v. levetiracetam (LEV) in children with status epilepticus (SE) or acute repetitive seizure (ARS). Methods: The medical records of children (age range, 1 month to 15 years) treated with i.v. PHB or LEV for SE or ARS at our single tertiary center were retrospectively reviewed. Seizure termination was defined as seizure cessation within 30 minutes of infusion completion and no recurrence within 24 hours. Information on the demographic variables, electroencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging findings, previous antiepileptic medications, and adverse events after drug infusion was obtained. Results: The records of 88 patients with SE or ARS (median age, 18 months; 50 treated with PHB and 38 with LEV) were reviewed. The median initial dose of i.v. PHB was 20 mg/kg (range, 10–20 mg/kg) and that of i.v. LEV was 30 mg/kg (range, 20–30 mg/kg). Seizure termination occurred in 57.9% of patients treated with i.v. LEV (22 of 38) and 74.0% treated with i.v. PHB (37 of 50) (P=0.111). The factor associated with seizure termination was the type of event (SE vs. ARS) in each group. Adverse effects were reported in 13.2% of patients treated with i.v. LEV (5 of 38; n=4, aggressive behavior and n=1, vomiting), and 28.0% of patients treated with i.v. PHB (14 of 50). Conclusion: Intravenous LEV was efficacious and safe in children with ARS or SE. Further evaluation is needed to determine the most effective and best-tolerated loading dose of i.v. LEV.

Corresponding author: Tae-Sung Ko, MD Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center Children’s Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea Tel: +82-2-3010-3390 Fax: +82-2-473-3725 E-mail: [email protected] Received: 1 April, 2015 Revised: 6 July, 2015 Accepted: 15 July, 2015

Key words: Levetiracetam, Phenobarbital, Seizures, Child, Status epilepticus

Introduction Status epilepticus (SE) and acute repetitive seizure (ARS) are the most common lifethreatening neurological emergencies, and have high morbidity and mortality. Acute management of seizure is important to prevent irreversible neuronal damage. The ideal antiepileptic drug for acute seizure control should act rapidly, be delivered easily by intravenous (i.v.) formulation, and have a sustained duration without adverse effect. Among the widely accepted recommendation of treatment of SE and ARS, benzodiazepines, including lorazepam and diazepam are the first-line therapy1-3). If first-line therapy fails to control the seizure, phenobarbital (PHB) and phenytoin are commonly used as the secondline antiepileptic drug. However, the current treatment protocol in children is not evidencebased and these antiepileptic drugs have well known adverse effects including respiratory suppression, hypotension, deep sedation, and multiple complications in various organs. Therefore, new antiepileptic drugs that can stop seizures without serious adverse effects are needed.

Copyright © 2016 by The Korean Pediatric Society This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Lee YJ, et al. • Intravenous levetiracetam versus phenobarbital in acute seizure management in children

Other antiepileptic drugs such as valproic acid, levetiracetam (LEV), and lacosamide have been introduced for the treatment of SE and ARS, but no randomized controlled trial has directly compared the efficacy of these antiepileptic drugs. Intravenous LEV has been suggested as an effective and safe treatment for acute seizure control in adult patients with SE or ARS4-7), and has recently been ap­proved as an adjuvant antiepileptic drug in patients aged 16 years and older when oral therapy is not tolerated. LEV has a different mechanism to preexisting anti­ epileptic drugs. It binds to synaptic vesicle protein SV2A and modulates synaptic vesicle exocytosis and neurotransmitter release. It also has fewer severe adverse effects such as respiratory depression and hemodynamic instability8,9). Furthermore, neu­ roprotective effects have been reported in animal models10). Intravenous LEV has rapid onset, minimal plasma protein binding (

Intravenous levetiracetam versus phenobarbital in children with status epilepticus or acute repetitive seizures.

This study compared the efficacy and tolerability of intravenous (i.v.) phenobarbital (PHB) and i.v. levetiracetam (LEV) in children with status epile...
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