According to a recent study, published in the scientific journal Epilepsia, neither zonisamide nor topiramate prevent the relapse of infantile spams, even when taken at relatively high doses. The study findings also imply that surgery is the only way to prevent the relapse of infantile spasms (in those who are eligible for it).The team of researchers, based at the University of California, used a medical database to identify children with infantile spasms who had responded to either hormonal, surgical or vigabatrin treatment. In order to try and prevent the recurrence of infantile spasms, 37 of the children had been prescribed zonisamide, 34 topiramate, three both zonisamide and topiramate and 38 neither drug.In the months following treatment, a total of 44 relapses were recorded. There was no difference in terms of relapse or time to relapse between children who received one or other drug. Relapse was found to be less likely among subjects who were older and in those who had originially responded to surgical treatment. The researchers concluded that neither zonisamide nor topiramate was effective in preventing the relapse of infantile spasms, and that surgical treatment (in those eligible) was the best option to achieve this.The authors expect that, based on these findings, the use of these two drugs will diminish in their own practice.According to the team, a larger-scale follow-up study should now be conducted in order to evaluate the definitive effect of these two drugs on the relapse of infantile spasms.Zonisamide and topiramate are the most commonly prescribed drugs to prevent the relapse of infantile spasms. However, using them for extended periods of time can cause negative side effects, which limits their long-term use.Infantile spasms is a specific type of seizure seen in an epilepsy syndrome known as West Syndrome, which usually begins between the ages of three and eight months. West Syndrome is named after Dr West, who described the condition in his 4-month-old son in 1841.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more articles about epilepsy in children.