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The efficacy of felbamate as add-on therapy to valproic acid in the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Author(s): Siegel H, Kelley K, Stertz B, Reeves-Tyer P, Flamini R, Malow B, Gaillard WD, Ko D, Theodore WH

Affiliation(s): Clinical Epilepsy Section, Epilepsy Research Branch, NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. heidi_siegel_at_neurology@smtplink2.mssm.edu

Publication date & source: 1999-04, Epilepsy Res., 34(2-3):91-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

We studied the efficacy of felbamate (FBM) in combination with valproic acid (VPA) in 13 patients with the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and evaluated the contribution of each drug. Following stabilization on VPA monotherapy, FBM or placebo titration was performed for two observation periods lasting 7 weeks with a washout period between them. 6-h video-electroencephalography was recorded following each observation period. In addition to examining the effects of the drugs with parental reports and video-EEG, we compared video-EEG data with families' seizure reports. Based on parental counts for the 7-week observation periods, patients had 40% fewer drop attacks (p < 0.03, Wilcoxon rank sum test) and 60% fewer total seizures (p < 0.02) on VPA and FBM. VPA level rose by 12.7% when FBM was added (p < 0.01). When the effect of FBM was factored out, VPA had a significant effect on drop attack frequency, although not total number of seizures. FBM's therapeutic effect on drop attacks is due in part to increased VPA levels, although the combination may be synergistic for the effect on total seizure number.

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