Gabapentin as Add-On Therapy in Children with Refractory Partial Seizures: A 12-Week, Multicentre, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study


  • Those authors affiliated with Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, Division of Warner-Lambert Co., own stock and hold options to purchase further stock in the company.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Appleton at Department of Neurology, Alder Hey Childre's Hospital, Eaton Road, Liverpool, U.K., L12 2AP.


Summary: Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of gabapentin (Neurontin; GBP) as add-on therapy for refractory partial seizures in paediatric patients aged 3–12 years.

Methods: After a 6-week baseline period, 247 patients (54 centres) entered a 12-week double-blind phase and were randomized to receive either GBP (t.i.d., titrated to 23-35 mg/kg/day) or placebo. Seizure activity and type were recorded daily. Efficacy variables included Response Ratio (RRatio), responder rate, and percentage change in frequency (PCH) for all partial seizures; PCH and RRatio for individual types of partial seizures; and investigator and parent/guardian global assessments of seizure frequency and patient well-being.

Results: RRatio for all partial seizures was significantly lower (better) for GBP-treated patients (p = 0.0407). Responder rate favored GBP, but the difference between treatment groups was not statistically significant. Median PCH for all partial seizures for the GBP treatment group (-17.0%) was better than that for the placebo group (-6.5%). Median PCH for specific seizure types showed GBP to be most effective in controlling complex partial seizures (-35%) and secondarily generalized seizures (-28%) when compared with placebo (-12%, +13%, respectively). A greater percentage of GBP-treated patients exhibited improvement according to investigator and parent/guardian global assessments, with a statistically significant difference observed in the parent/guardian global assessment of seizure-frequency reduction (p = 0.046). Three GBP patients and one placebo patient were seizure free during the double-blind treatment period. GBP was well tolerated.

Conclusions: GBP was effective and well tolerated as an add-on therapy for partial seizures in paediatric patients with previously drug-resistant seizures.