Stiripentol add-on therapy for drug-resistant focal epilepsy

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.


Background: This is an updated version of the Cochrane Review first published in 2014, and last updated in 2018. For nearly 30% of people with epilepsy, seizures are not controlled by current treatments. Stiripentol is an antiepileptic drug (AED) that was developed in France and was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2007 for the treatment of Dravet syndrome as an adjunctive therapy with valproate and clobazam. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of stiripentol as add-on treatment for people with drug-resistant focal epilepsy who are taking AEDs. Search methods: For the latest update, we searched the following databases on 27 February 2020: Cochrane Register of Studies (CRS Web); and MEDLINE (Ovid, 1946 to 26 February 2020). CRS Web includes randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials from the Specialized Registers of Cochrane Review Groups including Epilepsy, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, Embase,, and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP). We contacted Biocodex (the manufacturer of stiripentol) and epilepsy experts to identify published, unpublished and ongoing trials. Selection criteria: Randomised, controlled, add-on trials of stiripentol in people with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Data collection and analysis: Review authors independently selected trials for inclusion and extracted data. We investigated outcomes including 50% or greater reduction in seizure frequency, seizure freedom, adverse effects, treatment withdrawal and changes in quality of life. Main results: On the basis of our selection criteria, we included no new studies in the present review update. We included only one study from the earlier review (32 children with focal epilepsy). This study adopted a responder-enriched design and found no clear evidence of a reduction in seizure frequency (≥ 50% seizure reduction) (risk ratio (RR) 1.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81 to 2.82; low-certainty evidence) or evidence of seizure freedom (RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.31 to 4.43; low-certainty evidence) when add-on stiripentol was compared with placebo. Stiripentol led to a greater risk of adverse effects considered as a whole (RR 2.65, 95% CI 1.08 to 6.47; low-certainty evidence). When we considered specific adverse events, confidence intervals were very wide and showed the possibility of substantial increases and small reductions in risks of neurological adverse effects (RR 2.65, 95% CI 0.88 to 8.01; low-certainty evidence) and gastrointestinal adverse effects (RR 11.56, 95% CI 0.71 to 189.36; low-certainty evidence). Researchers noted no clear reduction in the risk of study withdrawal (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.30 to 1.47; low-certainty evidence), which was high in both groups (35.0% in add-on placebo and 53.3% in stiripentol group; low-certainty evidence). The external validity of this study was limited because only responders to stiripentol (i.e. patients experiencing a ≥ 50% decrease in seizure frequency compared with baseline) were included in the randomised, add-on, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase. Furthermore, carry-over and withdrawal effects probably influenced outcomes related to seizure frequency. Very limited information derived from the only included study shows that adverse effects considered as a whole seemed to occur significantly more often with add-on stiripentol than with add-on placebo. Authors' conclusions: We have found no new studies since the last version of this review was published. Hence, we have made no changes to the conclusions of this update as presented in the initial review. We can draw no conclusions to support the use of stiripentol as add-on treatment for drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Additional large, randomised, well-conducted trials are needed.




Brigo, F., Igwe, S. C., & Bragazzi, N. L. (2020, May 29). Stiripentol add-on therapy for drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free