Efficacy of Felbamate in the Treatment of Intractable Pediatric Epilepsy

Mary L. Zupanc*, Rhonda Roell Werner, Michael S. Schwabe, Sunila E. O'Connor, Charles J. Marcuccilli, Kurt E. Hecox, Maria S. Chico, Kathy A. Eggener

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The antiepileptic drug felbamate has demonstrated efficacy against a variety of seizure types in the pediatric population, particularly seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Postmarketing experience, however, revealed serious idiosyncratic adverse effects not observed during clinical trials, including aplastic anemia and liver failure. As a result, many physicians have been hesitant to prescribe felbamate. This retrospective study evaluated the efficacy of felbamate in a pediatric population with intractable epilepsy. Of 38 patients, 22 had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (58%); 6 had myoclonic-astatic epilepsy of Doose (16%); 5 had symptomatic generalized epilepsy, not otherwise specified (13%); and 5 had symptomatic localization-related epilepsy (13%). Most patients had multiple seizure types and had been tried on a variety of antiepileptic medications. With felbamate treatment, 6 patients (16%) became seizure free, including 4 of the 6 patients with myoclonic-astatic epilepsy of Doose; 24 patients (63%) had a greater than 50% reduction in seizure frequency. In this population felbamate appeared to be safe, with minimal adverse effects. The study is limited by the small number of patients and by its retrospective nature, but nonetheless adds to the evidence that felbamate is an important antiepileptic drug for medically refractory epilepsy in children and is well tolerated with few adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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