Anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics are used to treat children with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a central a neurological disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness. One percent to two percent of the pediatric population has epilepsy. Epilepsy is the most common childhood brain disorder in the United States. More than three million people in the U.S. have epilepsy, of which around 450,000 of them are children, under 17 years old. Moreover, around two-thirds of all children with epilepsy outgrow their seizures by the time they are teenagers. Thus, there is an increasing demand for anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics.
Anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics are prescription drugs used to prevent seizures in individuals with the disease. While the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved some of these drugs for pediatric use, many others are still not approved. A doctor can legally prescribe any drug for an adult, but it is not recommended for children until the safety of newer medications for children is established. The FDA has approved several anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics for the treatment of seizures in children. By identifying the cause of the seizures, doctors can prescribe anti-epileptic drugs to treat or prevent seizures. The goal is to provide child with the best possible outcome and make sure that the treatment is as effective as possible.
Generally used as epileptic drugs, anti-epileptic drugs can also be effective for other purposes. As mood stabilizers, they are increasingly used in bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Some of them are also effective for neuropathic pain. Phenytoin is most commonly prescribed anti-epileptic drug by primary care physicians. It works by altering sodium channels in brain cells to limit their rapid firing. Anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics, such as phenytoin, is used to treat epilepsy. It can also be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia, a type of nerve pain that affects the face. It is available on prescription. It comes as tablets that can be chewed or dissolved in water, capsules and a liquid that can be swallow.
First-, second-, and third-generation anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are used for the management of epilepsy in children. First-generation AEDs include sulthiame (STM), phenobarbital (PB), ethosuximide (ETS), clonazepam (CZP), clobazam (CLB), carbamazepine (CBZ), phenytoin (PHT). Second-generation AEDs include levetiracetam (LEV), felbamate (FBM), lamotrigine (LTG), gabapentin (GPT), pregabalin (PGB), tiagabine (TGB), vigabatrin (GVG), topiramate (TPM), zonisamide (ZNS), and oxcarbazepine (OXC). While, third-generation or most recently approved AEDs include eslicarbazepine acetate (ESL), perampanel (PER), lacosamide (LCS), retigabine (RTG), stiripentol (STP), and rufinamide (RUF).
Most second- and third-generation anti-epileptic drugs are licensed as an adjunctive treatment for epilepsy in adults, and are thus used off-label in the pediatric population based on increasing evidence of their potential efficacy in children, especially those over the age of 12. Treatment is most often done with medication. However, anti-epileptic drugs for pediatrics are selected based on the type of seizure, age of the child, side effects, cost, and ease of use.