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Open-label, long-term safety study of zonisamide administered to children and adolescents with epilepsy.

Author(s): Shinnar S, Pellock JM, Conry JA

Affiliation(s): Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Population Health, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA. sshinnar@aol.com

Publication date & source: 2009-01, Eur J Paediatr Neurol., 13(1):3-9. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Zonisamide is licensed in the EU and USA for the adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults but there are few data about its use in children. AIMS: To assess the long-term safety and efficacy of zonisamide in children and adolescents. METHODS: Zonisamide-naive patients (n=109, aged 3-15 years, weight >or=12.5 kg) with a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy (>or=4 seizures/month, receiving 1-2 antiepileptic drugs [AEDs] daily) received zonisamide once or twice daily in an open-label trial. The starting dose was 1mg/kg/day, increased by 2 mg/kg/day every 1-2 weeks at the investigator's discretion to an initial maximum of 12 mg/kg/day. The occurrence of adverse events (AEs) was the primary safety measure. Efficacy was measured via the reductions in seizure frequency and via investigator- and carer-rated global assessment ratings. RESULTS: The mean dose received was 8.5 mg/kg/day. Of the 109 children, 52 (48%) completed 15 months' treatment. Treatment-related AEs, mostly mild-to-moderate in severity, were reported by 58 patients. Seven patients discontinued due to treatment-related AEs. Serious AEs (pancreatitis, decreased sweating, and vertigo) were reported by three patients. A significant (p=0.033) median reduction in 'all seizure' frequency of 2.60 seizures per week was observed. Additionally, a significant (p=0.029) median reduction of 1.80 seizures/week in 'complex partial' seizures was reported. Improvements in investigator- and carer-rated global assessments were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Zonisamide treatment was generally well tolerated and was associated with significant reductions in seizure frequency in this pediatric population with a variety of both partial and generalized medically refractory epilepsy syndromes.

Page last updated: 2009-02-08

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