Levetiracetam versus phenytoin for treatment of convulsive status epilepticus in pediatric population: a randomized controlled trial


  • Pooja Sharma Department of Pediatrics, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Sanjay Mandot Department of Pediatrics, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Subhash Bamnawat




Levetiracetam, Phenytoin, Seizure, Status epilepticus


Background: Status epilepticus is a major medical and neurological emergency. Despite advances in treatment, it is still associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The objective of the study was to compare the efficacy of levetiracetam versus phenytoin in treatment of convulsive status epilepticus.

Methods: A Randomized control trial, was conducted at tertiary care hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, over a period of March 2017 to September 2018. Total 250 patients (age group 6 months to 18 years) who were presented with status epilepticus in PICU, were enrolled. These patients were divided into two groups by simple randomization. Levetiracetam was given to one group, while phenytoin was given to another group. Efficacy was decided by cessation of clinical seizure activity within 30 minutes of starting of drug infusion and patient was observed for recurrence of seizure within 24 hours.

Results: A total of 250 patients were enrolled in this study. Seizure terminated in 107 patients in phenytoin group (85.6%) and in 114 patients in levetiracetam group (91.2%). The difference was significant. Recurrence of seizure (with in 24 hour) was high in phenytoin group (14.4%) in comparison with levetiracetam group (8.8%). Most common adverse effect in both the groups on treatment was hypotension, though in phenytoin group it was significantly higher than patients on levetiracetam group (7.2% v/v 2.4%).

Conclusions: Levetiracetam may be an effective alternative to phenytoin as a second line drug in the management of benzodiazepine resistant convulsive status epilepticus in children.


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