How two common seizure drugs stack up

Two drugs are commonly prescribed for infants with epilepsy — but one of them seems to be much more effective than the other, a new study finds. Doctors looked at 155 infants who received either levetiracetam or phenobarbital for nonsyndromic epilepsy. After six months of treatment, 40 percent of infants who took levetiracetam didn’t need a second drug to control their seizures. They’d also become seizure-free within three months of starting the drug. Just 16 percent of the infants on phenobarbital hit those same outcomes. The researchers say their findings suggest a shift in practice might help get seizures under control faster for more infants.

Read the study in JAMA Pediatrics: Comparative Effectiveness of Levetiracetam vs Phenobarbital for Infantile Epilepsy