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Effective and safe but forgotten: methsuximide in intractable epilepsies in childhood.

Author(s): Sigler M, Strassburg HM, Boenigk HE

Affiliation(s): Pediatric Hospital Kidron, Bethel Epilepsy Centre, Germany

Publication date & source: 2001-03, Seizure., 10(2):120-4.

Publication type: Clinical Trial

The efficacy and safety of methsuximide (MSM) was evaluated in children with intractable epilepsies in a prospective uncontrolled study. MSM was added to the therapeutic regimen of 112 children with intractable epilepsy under inpatient conditions, all of whom were therapeutically refractory to various first-line antiepileptic drugs (AED) or combinations of other AED. Titration of MSM was performed following a uniform protocol. Administration of MSM resulted in a 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency in 40 patients after a short-term observation period (mean 9.1 weeks). After a mean of 3.7 years, the rate of seizures and side effects were re-evaluated in 39 patients who were still receiving MSM as part of their antiepileptic regimen. Twenty two of these patients derived long-term benefit from MSM. In patients with good seizure control, fasting plasma levels of N-desmethylmethsuximide, the principal active metabolite of MSM, were 25.3-44.7 mg l(-1)(mean 36.0 mg l(-1)). Thus effective plasma levels of N-desmethylmethsuximide in children were found to be higher than previously described. Forty one of 112 patients (28.9%) developed side effects during MSM treatment. No serious or irreversible side effects were seen. Our study demonstrates the value of MSM as an 'add-on' drug in intractable epilepsies.

Page last updated: 2007-05-02

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