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Journal of the Korean Child Neurology Society 2011;19(2):142-149.
Published online August 30, 2011.
Lamotrigine as a First-line Monotherapy in Children with Absence Seizures.
Ju Young Lee, Mi Sun Yum, Eun Hee Kim, Eun Hye Lee, Tae Sung Ko
Department of Pediatric Neurology, Asan Medical Center Children's Hospital University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea. tsko@amc.seoul.kr
Typical absence seizures are characterized by the daily presentation of frequent staring and typical 3Hz spike and wave discharges in otherwise healthy children. Typical absence seizures can present in childhood absence epilepsy and related syndromes. Lamotrigine (LTG) has been anecdotally used as a monotherapy for this seizure type; however, the efficacy and tolerability has remained unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability, and long-term outcome of LTG in patients with newly diagnosed typical absence seizures. METHODS: Medical records of 36 patients having newly diagnosed typical absence seizures were analyzed. Patients were included based on the history of typical absence seizures and 3 Hz spike and wave discharges in interictal EEG. LTG was administered at a starting dose of 10 mg/day and increased by 10 mg/week until seizure freedom or reaching a dose of 10 mg/kg/day. RESULTS: Thirty-one patients had childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and five had juvenile absence epilepsy (JAE). Thirty patients (83.3%) experienced more than 50% reduction of seizure frequency after 4 weeks of initial titration. Twenty-three patients (63.9%) achieved seizure freedom for 4 weeks after a mean duration of 8.3 weeks of treatment, and the cumulative numbers of patients with seizure freedom were 6 (16.7%), 18 (50.0%), and 23 (63.9%) within 4, 8, and 12 weeks, respectively. After 12 months of treatment, 12 patients (33.3%) showed normalized EEG findings, and their symptoms also disappeared. Four patients had uncontrolled seizures despite of dose increment and consequently needed additional treatment with valproic acid or ethosuximide. Most adverse effects, including skin rash (n=4), headache (n=1), and dizziness (n=1), were transient and tolerable. CONCLUSION: Lamotrigine, as a first-line monotherapy in newly diagnosed patients with typical absence seizures, could be safely used with good efficacy in seizure control.
Key Words: Lamotrigine, Epilepsy, Absence, Children


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