Service de Neurologie, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, BP 426, F-67091 Strasbourg cedex, France.
Purpose: This prospective, open, video-EEG-controlled study examined the efficacy of lamotrigine (LTG) as add-on and monotherapy in idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE).
Methods: 47 patients received LTG either because of insufficient seizure control (n = 35) or serious side effects of prior antiepileptic drugs (AED). Long-term video-EEG recordings were performed before and after the introduction of LTG. The mean follow-up time was 25.5 months.
Results: Of 12 patients with refractory childhood absence epilepsy, 9 became seizure free; in one child with absences with eyelid myoclonia, absence frequency was reduced > 50%; in 2 children with absences with a mild atonic component, seizure reduction was only transient. Of 12 patients with juvenile absence epilepsy, 10 became seizure-free and, in 2, a > 50% reduction was obtained. In 15 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, complete seizure control was achieved in 7 patients, in 6 patients myoclonia persisted. In one patient generalized tonic-clonic seizures also persisted and another patient developed a rash, LTG was therefore stopped. Of 5 patients with grand-mal on awakening, 3 became seizure-free, and a reduction of > 50% was obtained in one patient; LTG was stopped in one patient because of poor compliance. Three patients with pure photosensitive epilepsy became seizure-free. At the end of the study, 11 patients were seizure-free on LTG monotherapy, and in most other patients concomitant AED dosage could be substantially reduced. Conclusions: Lamotrigine was effective and well tolerated in patients with various IGE syndromes, although differences were observed between individual syndromes and seizure types.