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Role of rufinamide in the management of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (childhood epileptic encephalopathy)

Authors Gerhard Kluger, Bettina Bauer

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:3(1) Pages 3—11

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Gerhard Kluger1, Bettina Bauer2

1Klinik für Neuropädiatrie und Neurologische Rehabilitation, Epilepsiezentrum für Kinder und Jugendliche, Vogtareuth, Germany; 2Eisai GmbH, D-60528 Frankfurt/ Main, Germany

Abstract: Rufinamide, a triazole derivative that is structurally distinct from currently marketed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), is in development for the adjunctive treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in children and adults. Rufinamide is well absorbed after oral administration, demonstrates low protein binding, and is metabolized by enzymatic hydrolysis without involvement of cytochrome P450 enzymes, conferring a low drug interaction potential. In a randomized, double-blind trial involving 138 adult and pediatric patients with LGS, compared with placebo, rufinamide 45 mg/kg/day resulted in significantly superior reductions in drop attacks (median change –42.5% vs +1.4% with placebo) and total seizures (–32.1% vs – 11.7% with placebo), accompanied by significantly higher responder rates. These results are comparable with findings reported for other AEDs in randomized, controlled clinical trials in patients with LGS. Rufinamide produced statistically significant seizure reduction which was maintained during long-term therapy and accompanied by good tolerability. The most frequently reported adverse events from a pooled safety database evaluating short- and longterm therapy were headache (22.9% and 29.5%), dizziness (15.5% and 22.5%) and fatigue (13.6% and 17.7%). Rufinamide therefore presents a favorable efficacy and tolerability profile and is a promising candidate for the adjunctive therapy of LGS.

Keywords: antiepileptic drug, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, pediatrics, rufinamide

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