Phenobarbital is the oldest antiepileptic agent. It is an inexpensive antiepileptic drug with favourable pharmacokinetics and availability for oral and intravenous use and a relatively broad-spectrum, and it continues to be useful in the treatment of generalised tonic and tonic-clonic seizures and in partial seizures, especially with secondary generalisation. Its efficacy has been also demonstrated in the control of neonatal seizures and convulsive status epilepticus. The more potential adverse effects consist of the tendency to cause sedation, behaviour disturbances, developmental cognitive functions impairment, especially in infancy and childhood. Even though these effects seem to be overestimated and probably be due to excessive doses or too rapid increase in doses, they usually keep phenobarbital from being the antiepileptic drug of choice in many cases. Actually, at the present phenobarbital promotes less interest in studying its efficacy, mechanism of action and metabolism than the other antiepileptic drugs do, so that it risks to be removed from the use not because of its side effects but because its advantages are not sufficiently promoted.
|Translated title of the contribution||What is the future for barbiturates in XXI century?|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Bollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology