Infantile spasms constitute a catastrophic epileptic condition. Seizures in approximately half of children with infantile spasms fail to improve with initial treatment attempts; at present, data regarding alternative treatments are limited. We assessed the efficacy of clobazam as an adjunctive therapy in patients whose seizures failed to respond to initial regimens of standard treatment for infantile spasms. All patients from Severance Children's Hospital who received clobazam as adjunctive therapy for infantile spasms were selected for the study. The efficacy of clobazam was evaluated by assessing the daily spasm frequency. Patients were categorized as complete responders if the spasms disappeared within 2 weeks of introducing clobazam, and the patients became spasm-free during weeks 3 and 4. Tolerability was gauged by analyzing adverse events and discontinuation rates. In all, 171 patients qualified for the analysis. Clobazam was introduced after the administration of 2.6 (median; interquartile range [IQR], 1.0–4.0) failed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), at the age of 8.2 months (IQR, 6.0–10.0 months). After clobazam therapy was initiated, 38 (22.2%) patients became spasm-free for ≥ 2 weeks. Thirteen out of the 38 complete responders remained spasm-free until the last follow-up and did not require the administration of other AEDs. In 10 patients, the electroencephalogram (EEG) tracings were also within normal limits. These patients were successfully weaned off of all AEDs. Patients with conditions of unknown etiology, who had fewer prior exposures to AEDs, and had not received prior adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)/steroids were more likely to have complete spasm control than the others. Adverse effects were minor, and only 6 of 101 (6%) patients who experienced adverse events had their treatments discontinued during the 3-month follow-up period. The most common adverse events observed were hypersalivation, sedation, and sleep disturbance. Thus, clobazam might be an effective and safe alternative therapeutic option in patients whose seizures failed to respond to initial regimens of standard treatment for infantile spasms. Further prospective studies on clobazam for infantile spasms, focusing on specific good response groups, dosing protocols, and long-term outcome are needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Behavioral Neuroscience