Your doctor is likely to prescribe antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) as treatment for your child’s or loved one's Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Because patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome have different types of seizures, they often require therapy with multiple types of AEDs.1,2 As a result, your doctor is likely to prescribe more than one medication.
Some AEDs can be used as single agents (monotherapy), and others are used as adjunctive (add-on) medications. Monotherapy agents can be given alone, and adjunctive medications must be given in addition to other medications. Your healthcare provider will make a decision for your loved one, based on the patient’s own history and examination findings. No two patients are the same, so treatment approaches also vary.
Talk to your doctor about whether the medications currently available for seizure control might be appropriate for your loved one. When prescribing multiple medications, your doctor should be mindful of the effects that each medication will have. Because of this, it is important that your doctor knows all medications your child or loved one is taking—including, but not limited to, the ones for the seizures.
Most children who have LGS are given multiple medications to control the multiple types of seizures they might have.2 This is called polytherapy, or treating with more than one drug. The goal of this therapy is to balance optimum seizure control with minimal side effects.3
Different AEDs have different side effects. Taking multiple medications may increase or worsen certain potential side effects.4 Also, children who show improvement initially from one medication may become tolerant to the drug over time, and their level of response to treatment may change.1
Over time, LGS features and associated symptoms may change, and so may the individual patient’s response to treatments. This is why your doctor must continuously assess whether the potential advantages of any given therapy outweigh its potential disadvantages.4
Some families may choose to add nonmedicinal options to their child's treatment plan.
- 1. NINDS Lennox-Gastaut syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Web site. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/lennoxgastautsyndrome/lennoxgastautsyndrome.htm. Updated March 2019. Accessed October 21, 2019.
- 2. Arzimanoglou A, French J, Blume WT, et al. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: a consensus approach on diagnosis, assessment, management, and trial methodology. Lancet Neurol. 2009;8:82-93.
- 3. Treatments for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. LGS Foundation Web site. http://www.lgsfoundation.org/treatments. Accessed December 1, 2019.
- 4. Bourgeois BFD, Gilliam F. Adjunctive and combination therapy. In: Engel J Jr, Pedley TA, eds. Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2008:1321-1325.