Friday, July 6, 2018

Amantadine for the treatment of refractory absence seizures in children

Sreedharan M, Devadathan K, Pathan HK, Chalipat S, Mohammed KP. Amantadine for the treatment of refractory absence seizures in children. J Pediatr Neurosci 2018;13:131-6

Introduction: Childhood epilepsy is a generalized epilepsy syndrome with a favorable response to antiepileptic drugs; however, a small percentage of typical absence seizures remain refractory to drugs. We studied the safety and efficacy of amantadine in children with refractory absence seizures. Materials and Methods: Of 48 children with typical absence seizures attending the outpatient department of a tertiary care neurological center over a period of 3 years from July 2013 to June 2016, 4 children who were refractory to standard treatment for at least 1 year were selected and were started on amantadine 4–6mg/kg/day, after obtaining informed consent. Observations: The children, aged between 7 and 14 years, had more than 10 episodes of seizures per day in spite of polytherapy with valproate, lamotrigine, clonazepam, levetiracetam, and topiramate in various combinations. Electrographically, all showed the typical generalized 3 Hz spike wave discharges activated by hyperventilation. All the children became seizure free within 1 week after starting amantadine, and there was improvement in their school performance. The children continue to remain seizure free for 6–30 months now. No significant adverse effects were observed on addition of amantadine. Discussion: Amantadine can be tried as a safe add-on drug for children with absence epilepsy refractory to multiple drugs. Further multicenter trials may be needed to prove its effectiveness, as the numbers are small.

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Perry MS, Bailey LJ, Kotecha AC, Malik SI, Hernandez AW. Amantadine for the treatment of refractory absence seizures in children. Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Apr;46(4):243-5.

Amantadine has demonstrated efficacy in small series for absence and myoclonic type seizures. We examined the efficacy of amantadine for treating refractory absence seizures in a cohort of pediatric patients. We retrospectively reviewed medical records for patients with absence seizures treated with amantadine at Cook Children's Medical Center after January 2007. Abstracted data included sex, age at initiation, concomitant antiepileptic drugs, amantadine dosing, and seizure frequency. Outcomes at 3, 6, and 12 months after initiation were categorized as >90%, ≥50%, or <50% reduction in seizure frequency. Of 13 patients included in the study, many were exposed to multiple antiepileptic drugs (median, 3; range, 1-6). Three were implanted with a vagus nerve stimulator. A response of at least 50% seizure reduction was reported in more than 50% of patients reviewed at 3, 6, and 12 months after initiating treatment. Among responders, a majority had >90% reduction in seizure frequency. Amantadine may constitute an efficacious alternative treatment for refractory absence seizures.

Shields WD, Lake JL, Chugani HT. Amantadine in the treatment of refractory epilepsy in childhood: an open trial in 10 patients. Neurology. 1985 Apr;35(4):579-81.

Amantadine HCl was given to 10 children with medically refractory seizures; other anticonvulsant medications were continued unchanged through the 12- to 16-week trial. Several patients noted improvement in control of myoclonic or atypical absence seizures. Tonic seizures were controlled in one patient, but worsened in another. Tonic-clonic and atonic seizures remained unchanged or worsened. Amantadine may be useful as an adjunctive anticonvulsant in some children with refractory atypical absence or myoclonic seizures.

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