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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-136

Amantadine for the treatment of refractory absence seizures in children

Department of Paediatric Neurology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Kalpana Devadathan
GRA113, Sreebhavan, Gowreesapattom, Pattom P.O., Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JPN.JPN_51_17

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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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