Vol. 1, No. 1-2 , 1995, Page 5


A common seizure medication may cause or exacerbate antisocial behavior in children or teens with epilepsy, according to Carrie Sylvester and colleagues.

The researchers describe a hyperactive child who suffered a head injury at age 7, developed seizures at 13, and was treated with primidone (commonly known by the brand name Mysoline), which the body metabolizes to phenobarbital. He developed behavior problems and was eventually incarcerated, at age 18, for burglary and assault.

In prison, the researchers say, the young man was switched from primidone to carbamazepine. "He had accumulated 59 punitive points [for behavior problems] up to that time," they note, "but none after. For the remaining 11 months of his incarceration he was calm, cooperative and friendly."

According to the Physician's Desk Reference, primidone can cause hyperirritability and emotional disturbance.


"Primidone or phenobarbital use complicating disruptive behavior disorders," Carrie Sylvester, Anthony Marchlewski, and James Manaligod, Clinical Pediatrics, April 1994, Vol. 33, No. 4. Address not listed.

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