Efficacy and Utilization Patterns of Anti-Epileptic Drugs in the Management of Neonatal Seizures: A Comparative Exploration

Rose B. Thomas, Spandana Siri Muttavarapu, Prasanna K. Shetty, Leslie E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Management of neonatal seizures with available limited guidelines across different gestation can cause long-term neurological and cognitive impairment. Objectives: To compare utilization and observe the efficacy of anti-epileptic drugs in the treatment of neonatal seizures. The association of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with NS and the etiology of HIE were also determined. Subjects and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital for a period of one year. It was approved by IEC prior to initiation. Participants: Neonates admitted for seizure management and perinatal asphyxia with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy were included in the study. Both term and preterm 267 neonates from January 2014 to July 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. The drugs with the fastest seizure resolution, least recurrence, and readmission rates were considered efficient. Phenobarbitone, levetiracetam, and phenytoin were compared as they were commonly prescribed. Inpatient medical records and hospital databases served as sources of information. Results: Phenobarbitone was commonly utilized, followed by phenytoin and levetiracetam. The commonly prescribed combination was phenobarbitone (first-line agent) and phenytoin (second-line agent). Phenobarbitone immediately resolved seizures (97, 75.1%) and had the least cases of seizure recurrences (53, 41.1%) and readmissions (20, 15.5%), making it most efficient. The best second-line agent was phenytoin, with the least seizure recurrence (4, 8.51%), least readmissions (7, 14.8%), and fastest resolution (25, 53.1%). Levetiracetam was an efficient third-line agent. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy was the most observed cause of neonatal seizures. Conclusion: Phenobarbitone was observed as the most utilized and efficient anti-epileptic drug, followed by phenytoin and levetiracetam. Owing to limitations in this study, there is an alarming need for standardized clinical trials to establish thorough guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalNeurology India
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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