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Prophylactic drug management for febrile seizures in children

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (93rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
146 tweeters
8 Facebook pages
3 Wikipedia pages


18 Dimensions

Readers on

122 Mendeley
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Prophylactic drug management for febrile seizures in children
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd003031.pub3
Pubmed ID

Martin Offringa, Richard Newton, Martinus A Cozijnsen, Sarah J Nevitt


Febrile seizures occurring in a child older than one month during an episode of fever affect 2% to 4% of children in Great Britain and the United States and recur in 30%. Rapid-acting antiepileptics and antipyretics given during subsequent fever episodes have been used to avoid the adverse effects of continuous antiepileptic drugs. To evaluate primarily the effectiveness and safety of antiepileptic and antipyretic drugs used prophylactically to treat children with febrile seizures; but also to evaluate any other drug intervention where there was a sound biological rationale for its use. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2016, Issue 7); MEDLINE (1966 to July 2016); Embase (1966 to July 2016); Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) (July 2016). We imposed no language restrictions. We also contacted researchers in the field to identify continuing or unpublished studies. Trials using randomised or quasi-randomised participant allocation that compared the use of antiepileptic, antipyretic or other plausible agents with each other, placebo or no treatment. Two review authors (RN and MO) independently applied predefined criteria to select trials for inclusion and extracted the predefined relevant data, recording methods for randomisation, blinding and exclusions. For the 2016 update a third author (MC) checked all original inclusions, data analyses, and updated the search. Outcomes assessed were seizure recurrence at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 48 months and at age 5 to 6 years in the intervention and non-intervention groups, and adverse medication effects. We assessed the presence of publication bias using funnel plots. We included 40 articles describing 30 randomised trials with 4256 randomised participants. We analysed 13 interventions of continuous or intermittent prophylaxis and their control treatments. Methodological quality was moderate to poor in most studies. We found no significant benefit for intermittent phenobarbitone, phenytoin, valproate, pyridoxine, ibuprofen or zinc sulfate versus placebo or no treatment; nor for diclofenac versus placebo followed by ibuprofen, acetaminophen or placebo; nor for continuous phenobarbitone versus diazepam, intermittent rectal diazepam versus intermittent valproate, or oral diazepam versus clobazam.There was a significant reduction of recurrent febrile seizures with intermittent diazepam versus placebo or no treatment, with a risk ratio (RR) of  0.64 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48 to 0.85 at six months), RR of 0.69 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.84) at 12 months, RR 0.37 (95% CI 0.23 to 0.60) at 18 months, RR 0.73 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.95) at 24 months, RR 0.58 (95% CI 0.40 to 0.85) at 36 months, RR 0.36 (95% CI 0.15 to 0.89) at 48 months, with no benefit at 60 to 72 months. Phenobarbitone versus placebo or no treatment reduced seizures at 6, 12 and 24 months but not at 18 or 72 month follow-up (RR 0.59 (95% CI 0.42 to 0.83) at 6 months; RR 0.54 (95% CI 0.42 to 0.70) at 12 months; and RR 0.69 (95% CI 0.53 to 0.89) at 24 months). Intermittent clobazam compared to placebo at six months resulted in a RR of 0.36 (95% CI 0.20 to 0.64), an effect found against an extremely high (83.3%) recurrence rate in the controls, which is a result that needs replication.The recording of adverse effects was variable. Lower comprehension scores in phenobarbitone-treated children were found in two studies. In general, adverse effects were recorded in up to 30% of children in the phenobarbitone-treated group and in up to 36% in benzodiazepine-treated groups. We found evidence of publication bias in the meta-analyses of comparisons for phenobarbitone versus placebo (eight studies) at 12 months but not at six months (six studies); and valproate versus placebo (four studies) at 12 months, with too few studies to identify publication bias for the other comparisons.Most of the reviewed antiepileptic drug trials are of a methodological quality graded as low or very low. Methods of randomisation and allocation concealment often do not meet current standards; and treatment versus no treatment is more commonly seen than treatment versus placebo, leading to obvious risks of bias. Trials of antipyretics and zinc were of higher quality. We found reduced recurrence rates for children with febrile seizures for intermittent diazepam and continuous phenobarbitone, with adverse effects in up to 30%. Apparent benefit for clobazam treatment in one trial needs to be replicated to be judged reliable. Given the benign nature of recurrent febrile seizures, and the high prevalence of adverse effects of these drugs, parents and families should be supported with adequate contact details of medical services and information on recurrence, first aid management and, most importantly, the benign nature of the phenomenon.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 146 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 122 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 122 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 32 26%
Student > Master 21 17%
Other 12 10%
Researcher 9 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 7%
Other 22 18%
Unknown 17 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 51 42%
Nursing and Health Professions 18 15%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 7 6%
Psychology 5 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 2%
Other 12 10%
Unknown 26 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 100. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 September 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,621,828 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,224 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 262,006 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 238 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,621,828 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,224 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 262,006 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 238 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.