Efficacy and safety of rufinamide in children under four years of age with drug-resistant epilepsies

Salvatore Grosso, Giangennaro Coppola, Serena Donetti Dontin, Giuseppe Gobbi, Dario Pruna, Patrizia Accorsi, Alberto Verrotti, Pasquale Parisi, Paolo Balestri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Studies on the efficacy and tolerability of rufinamide in infants and young children are scarce. Here we report on an open, retrospective, and pragmatic study about safety and efficacy of rufinamide in children aged less than four years, in terms of seizures types and epilepsy syndromes. Methods Forty children (mean age 39.5 months; range 22-48) were enrolled in the study. The mean follow-up period was 12.2 months (range 5-21). Rufinamide was initiated at a mean age of 26.7 months (range 12-42). Final rufinamide mean dosage was 31.5 mg/kg/day if associated with valproic acid and 44.2 mg/kg/day if not. Results The highest seizure reduction rate was observed in the epileptic spasms (46%) and drop attacks (42%) groups. Seizure reduction was also observed in tonic seizures (35%) and in the focal seizure (30%) groups. In terms of epilepsy syndrome, rufinamide was effective in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Results were very poor for those affected by Dravet's syndrome. Globally, responder rate was 27.5%, including two (5%) patients seizure-free. Adverse reactions occurred in 37.5% of children and were mainly represented by vomiting, drowsiness, irritability, and anorexia. Discontinuation rate due to treatment-emergent adverse events was 15%. Conclusion The present study concludes that rufinamide may be a safe and effective drug for a broad range of seizures and epilepsy syndromes in infants and young children and represents a valid therapeutic option in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-645
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Epilepsy syndromes
  • Epileptic encephalopathy
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)


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