Research Article

Treatment gaps of epilepsy and retention rates of sodium valproate in rural Guangxi, China

Published: August 15, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (3) : 6202-6212 DOI: 10.4238/2014.August.15.3

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and treatment gaps of epilepsy, as well as the clinical effects, drug safety, and retention rates of sodium valproate (VPA) for treating epilepsy. Physicians received supervised training to use the survey form recommended by the Chinese Association Against Epilepsy while screening for suspected or confirmed epilepsy cases. These cases were ultimately enrolled in the study by neurologists. Enrolled patients were given a year of free VPA treatment so that its efficacy and adverse effects during the follow-up period could be evaluated. In total, 302 patients were enrolled in this study, which included 189 males and 113 females. Among these cases, 179 (59.27%) were confirmed to have generalized seizures, 162 (53.6%) had tonic-clonic seizures, 10 (3.3%) had absence seizures, and 123 (40.72%) had partial seizures. Only 63 patients had received regular treatments 1 week before enrollment, with a treatment gap of 79.1%. The retention rates during the 6th, 12th, 18th, and 24th months were 100, 93.56, 89.05, and 77.06%, respectively. During the 1-year follow-up period, 30 cases encountered mild adverse effects, but no severe adverse reactions were reported. A large treatment gap for epilepsy still existed in the rural areas of southern China, with few adverse effects and high retention rates. VPA showed satisfactory effects in the treatment of epileptic patients.

This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and treatment gaps of epilepsy, as well as the clinical effects, drug safety, and retention rates of sodium valproate (VPA) for treating epilepsy. Physicians received supervised training to use the survey form recommended by the Chinese Association Against Epilepsy while screening for suspected or confirmed epilepsy cases. These cases were ultimately enrolled in the study by neurologists. Enrolled patients were given a year of free VPA treatment so that its efficacy and adverse effects during the follow-up period could be evaluated. In total, 302 patients were enrolled in this study, which included 189 males and 113 females. Among these cases, 179 (59.27%) were confirmed to have generalized seizures, 162 (53.6%) had tonic-clonic seizures, 10 (3.3%) had absence seizures, and 123 (40.72%) had partial seizures. Only 63 patients had received regular treatments 1 week before enrollment, with a treatment gap of 79.1%. The retention rates during the 6th, 12th, 18th, and 24th months were 100, 93.56, 89.05, and 77.06%, respectively. During the 1-year follow-up period, 30 cases encountered mild adverse effects, but no severe adverse reactions were reported. A large treatment gap for epilepsy still existed in the rural areas of southern China, with few adverse effects and high retention rates. VPA showed satisfactory effects in the treatment of epileptic patients.

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