Article published by Dravet Syndrome News
Newer antiseizure medications (ASMs) for children and adolescents with Dravet syndrome reduced seizure frequency by at least 50% in clinical trials, according to a pooled analysis of study data. The recent study also compared the benefits and safety of such therapies, each of which is approved in the U.S. for patients ages two and older. Dravet syndrome is a severe epileptic brain disease in which symptoms typically emerge in the first year of life. It is characterized by hard-to-treat, lifelong seizures, intellectual disability, behavior disturbances, sleep disorders, and walking problems. With the approval of new ASMs in recent years, the management of Dravet-related seizures has changed. To better understand the overall impact of these changes, a team led by researchers in Italy pooled available evidence to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of these newer ASMs. A database search revealed eight placebo-controlled trials that included 680 pediatric participants. Of these, 409 were randomly assigned an active add-on treatment, while 271 received a placebo. Add-on treatments included Diacomit® (stiripentol), Epidiolex® (cannabidiol), Fintepla® (fenfluramine), and the experimental therapy soticlestat. Diacomit® was associated with a 100% reduction in seizure frequency compared with the placebo, while Epidiolex® was linked to a lower rate of adverse events than Diacomit® and Fintepla®. The data gathered in this study will allow healthcare providers “to have reliable data and enable discussion with caregivers of people with [Dravet syndrome] about the expected outcomes” of these medications, the team wrote.