July 26, 2018

Clinical Trial: Study to Evaluate Phenobarbital Sodium Injection for the Treatment of Neonatal Seizures

Brief Summary: This is a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, Phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy of the administration of phenobarbital Sodium Injection, United States Pharmacopeia, (USP), in participants who have suffered from a clinical seizure. As neonatal seizures can have long-term adverse effects, including death, placebo-controlled studies are not appropriate for this population.

This study is designed to show phenobarbital is effective at preventing subsequent seizures by demonstrating greater efficacy at the higher (40 mg/kg) dose compared to the lower dose (20 mg/kg). It is important to note that, although phenobarbital is not approved for the treatment of neonatal seizures, it is commonly used for this indication and is considered the first-line therapy in the US and by the World Health Organization. The minimum recommended dose of phenobarbital used to treat neonatal seizures is 20 mg/kg. Therefore, the lower dose of phenobarbital used in this study is considered an “effective” dose for the treatment of neonatal seizures. The design of this study allows for assessment of the minimum recommended dose with the maximum recommended dose to show the increased efficacy of the high dose in various measures of reduction in seizures.

Estimated study start date: October 1, 2018
Estimated study completion date: June 1, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

Ages Eligible for Study: up to 28 days (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Parental informed consent
  • Infants born at 35 + 0/7 weeks gestational age AND age 0-28 days after birth
  • Has evidence of an electrographic seizure lasting at least 10 seconds
  • Undergoing continuous electroencephalogram, (EEG), monitoring, including infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy concurrently treated with hypothermic cooling


Exclusion Criteria:

  • If the seizures are solely due to a transient abnormality, easily correctable, and unlikely to recur (for example, transient electrolyte abnormalities)
  • If the infant has been diagnosed with or there is a strong suspicion of an inborn error of metabolism, significant brain malformation, or microcephaly (< 3rd percentile)
  • If the infant has been diagnosed with an intrauterine viral infection
  • If the infant is not expected to survive to discharge

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