oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Prevention of febrile convulsions with sodium valproate

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Sodium valproate was used in the prophylaxis of 24 children with febrile convulsions. Their ages ranged from 6 months to 2 years at the beginning of the study (mean age 11 months). Twelve of the patients had been on phenobarbitone prophylaxis for at least 6 months and for the other 12 sodium valproate was the initial prophylactic drug. Four of the children had experienced associated hyperactivity, irritability or behaviour disturbance while on phenobarbitone. For all patients the dose of sodium valproate ranged from 400 to 1000 mg per day. In the patients who had not previously received prophylaxis no seizure was recorded during the 6 months study while on valproate. Seizure frequence decreased by 90% in the 12 patients who had previously been on phenobarbitone and behaviour disorders were ameliorated in three of the four affected children. No significant side-effects were reported with sodium valproate. There are good indications that sodium valproate is a successful prophylactic in febrile convulsions. The low incidence of sedative effects and inability to produce hyperactivity and irritability in children may help to prevent learning problems.

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