Journal of Pediatric Neurology 2019; 17(04): 158-160
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1673637
Case Report
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Levetiracetam is Less Effective than Phenobarbital in Treating Seizures Associated with KCNQ2 Variant of Benign Familial Neonatal Convulsions

Charles J. Milrod
1  Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Jeremy J. Palmer
2  Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York, New York, United States
Lewis M. Milrod
3  Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, New Jersey, United States
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19. Juli 2018

04. September 2018

13. Oktober 2018 (online)


Benign familial neonatal convulsions (BFNC) is an autosomal dominant disorder that presents with generalized tonic–clonic and partial seizures. Levetiracetam is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of neonatal seizures due to a benign safety profile. Concern has arisen over possible neurotoxicity and apoptosis due to phenobarbital. A male infant with BFNC due to a KCNQ2 mutation responded to phenobarbital but not to levetiracetam. The patient's brother with the same mutation had seizures on day 4 of life; phenobarbital was administered and he became seizure free. This suggests that levetiracetam is a less effective treatment than phenobarbital for BFNC.