Children with epilepsy who are consuming a ketogenic diet may not benefit from the use of the antiepileptic drug (AED) lamotrigine, according to a new study.
Conducted by the Erasmus University Hospital Sophia Children’s Hospital and published in the medical journal Seizure, the purpose of the research was to elucidate relationships between efficacy of the ketogenic diet and use of specific AEDs.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that has been shown to be effective in aiding seizure control. They are often used at the same time as AEDs, but it has been hypothesised that certain drugs may interfere with the diet.
A retrospective study was performed in 71 children with refractory epilepsy starting the diet between 2008 and 2014 at the hospital, with the efficacy of the ketogenic diet evaluated after three months of treatment and analysed alongside the AEDs used.
It was shown that the diet was successful after three months in 61 per cent of the children, but the efficacy was significantly reduced if children used lamotrigine at diet initiation or during the course of the regime.
In comparison to children using other AEDs, the percentage of children that experienced a benefit from the diet was significantly reduced in case of lamotrigine use, showing the impact was specific to this therapy.