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Acetaminophen has potential to prevent febrile seizures


Acetaminophen has potential to prevent febrile seizures

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics reports that acetaminophen was found a safe and effective antipyretic against febrile seizures (FSs) and has the potential to prevent FS recurrence during the same fever episode in infants and children.

Shinya Murata and his associates conducted a single-centered, prospective, open, randomized controlled study to confirm the safety of using acetaminophen for febrile seizures (FSs) and to assess its efficacy in preventing FS recurrence during the same fever episode.

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The researchers evaluated 423 patients; of these, 219 were in the rectal acetaminophen group, and 204 were in the no antipyretics group. The effectiveness of acetaminophen was examined by comparing the recurrence rates of patients in whom rectal acetaminophen (10 mg/kg) was administered every 6 hours until 24 hours after the first convulsion (if the fever remained >38.0°C) to the rates of patients in whom no antipyretics were administered. No placebo was administered to controls. The primary outcome measure was FS recurrence during the same fever episode.

Key study findings:

  • The FS recurrence rate was significantly lower in the rectal acetaminophen group than in the no antipyretics group.
  • Rectal acetaminophen was the largest contributor to the prevention of FS recurrence during the same fever episode.
  • A younger age and shorter duration of seizure were associated with higher FS recurrence rates during the same fever episode.

“In our study, patients with diarrhea were excluded from the randomized controlled trial because we considered that such patients were not suitable for direct comparison with children with FSs without diarrhea.” write the authors.

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The study concluded that acetaminophen may reduce the recurrence of FSs during the same fever episode and thus can be considered safe for use in children with FSs.

Febrile seizures (FSs) are the most common type of seizure in childhood. It occurs in 7% to 11%  in children, and the risk of recurrence is nearly 15% during the same febrile illness.

For reference log on to http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2018/10/04/peds.2018-1009

Source: With inputs from the journal Pediatrics

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