Department of Neurology, Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, Florida, USA, Institute for Children and Adolescents with Epilepsy – IDEE, University Hospital of Lyon and Inserm-U821, Lyon, France, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Children's Epilepsy Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Child Neurology Associates PC, Atlanta, GA, USA, Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, Epilepsy Centre for Children and Adolescents, Schön Klinik Vogtareuth, Vogtareuth, Germany, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, USA, Spire Leicester Hospital, Leicester, United Kingdom, Eisai Knowledge Centre, Mosquito Way, Hatfield, United Kingdom, Eisai, Inc, Woodcliff Lake, NJ, USA
Rufinamide is a triazole derivative structurally unrelated to other antiepileptic drugs that is indicated for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in patients aged ≥4 years. Originally granted orphan drug status, marketing authorisation was obtained on the basis of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 138 LGS patients. An open-label extension study subsequently demonstrated that rufinamide's efficacy and tolerability were maintained over the longer term (median duration of treatment, 432 days). Recently published reports from Europe and the United States have described the use of adjunctive rufinamide to treat LGS in clinical practice. These data complement the clinical trial results, by providing information on the efficacy and tolerability of rufinamide when used on an individualised basis in real-world practice, under less tightly restricted conditions in terms of patient population and dosing strategies. A comparison of the data reveals that a “lower and slower” dosing strategy tends to be adopted in clinical practice, in comparison with the clinical trial, which does not appear to compromise efficacy, but may provide improvements in tolerability. Individual case reports provide additional valuable information on how rufinamide is being used to treat different seizure types associated with LGS. Since clinical experience with rufinamide is currently at an early stage, there are still unanswered questions relating to its use, and it is likely that its place in the adjunctive treatment of LGS will evolve as further data emerge.