Phenobarbital is useful in treating many kinds of seizures in children. It is often considered the first choice to treat certain seizures in newborn infants.
Phenobarbital also has been widely used to prevent seizures that sometimes accompany a high fever in infants or young children. It does not enter the body quickly enough to prevent these seizures if it is only given after the fever starts, however, so the child must take it every day. Seizures of this kind usually cause no lasting harm, so most children should not be given phenobarbital to prevent them.
Phenobarbital has a reputation for causing problems with behavior or learning in children. Reports from various studies have not always agreed, perhaps because individual children are affected in different ways. The problems are probably not as serious for most children as many doctors think they are, but other seizure medicines may be preferred as a first choice for long-term use in children.
Side effects are much more likely to be troublesome if high doses are given or if too high a dose is given to start. It may be necessary to increase the dosage very slowly over several months. The doctor will calculate the dosage for a child based on the child's weight.
Reviewed February 2004 by Steven C. Schachter, MD, epilepsy.com Editorial Board.
Welcome to the Wiki. This space is created for epilepsy.com members to share their own experiences and expertise to help refine and expand the discussion around important topics.
No members have yet contributed to this topic. If you are not yet an epilepsy.com member, register today to get started on this Wiki topic and the many other advantages of being a member. If you are a member and wish to be the first to edit this Wiki topic, please make sure to login, then click on the orange "Start Wiki" button at the top of this page. Or, learn more about Wikis.
New - How long do you wait?
Created by ValNew...at4/17/08 - 5:40 am|1 Comment
New - Keppra
Created by cmonkmanat4/11/08 - 8:31 pm|8 Comments
New - Constant sleepiness with Lamictal and Lexapro
Created by Peaches78at4/8/08 - 9:52 am|3 Comments
New - drowsinessworse with Keppra
Created by nleatherat3/30/08 - 8:51 pm|6 Comments
Average Dosage of Keppra
Created by happygirlat3/20/08 - 3:26 pm
New - Average Dosage of Keppra
Created by happygirlat3/20/08 - 3:26 pm|3 Comments
Created by Peaches78at3/19/08 - 2:49 am
New - can side effects worsen or get better over time with Keppra
Created by happygirlat3/6/08 - 1:03 pm|23 Comments
Created by sactovfrat3/5/08 - 4:17 pm|4 Comments
New - Thinking about taking Keppra
Created by runner...at3/4/08 - 12:55 pm|5 Comments
Positive Stories Only
Created by onemarvyat2/22/08 - 10:04 am|8 Comments
Still in denial
Created by onemarvyat2/16/08 - 2:25 am|17 Comments
New - Depakote, Behaviors, and personality
Created by nytashaat2/11/08 - 4:22 pm|23 Comments
Phenobarbital & yellow skin?
Created by cakesmamaat1/27/08 - 7:37 am|3 Comments
Created by supa_s...at1/20/08 - 8:30 pm|1 Comment
Living with Seizures versus side effects of medication?
Created by amandaorrat1/15/08 - 6:00 am|3 Comments
New - adult onset epilepsy
Created by lb34at5/20/07 - 8:19 pm|9 Comments