Routine anticonvulsants for treating cerebral malaria.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:Cerebral malaria is a common complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection, and kills over a million people every year. People with cerebral malaria become unconscious, and often have protracted convulsions. It is unclear whether giving anticonvulsant drugs routinely to people with cerebral malaria will improve the outcome of treatment and prevent death. OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the effect of routine anticonvulsant drugs in people with cerebral malaria. SEARCH STRATEGY:We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group specialized trials register (November 2001), The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Issue 4, 2001), MEDLINE (1966 to November 2001), EMBASE (1988 to October 2001), LILACS (2001, 40a Edition CD-ROM), Science Citation Index (November 2001), African Index Medicus (1999), reference lists of articles, and research organizations. We also contacted the authors for addtional information. SELECTION CRITERIA:Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials of people with cerebral malaria. The trials compared anticonvulsant drugs started on admission to hospital with no anticonvulsant drug or placebo. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:Two reviewers independently extracted data from those trials eligible for inclusion. We assessed the methodological quality of the included trials by considering allocation sequence, concealment of allocation, blinding, and inclusion of all randomized participants. We used Review Manager (version 4.1) for the meta-analysis and also explored possible sources of heterogeneity. MAIN RESULTS:Three trials with a total of 573 participants met the inclusion criteria. These trials all compared phenobarbitone with placebo or no treatment. In the two trials with adequate allocation concealment, death was more common in the anticonvulsant group (Relative Risk 2.0; 95% confidence interval 1.20 to 3.33; fixed effect model). In all three trials, phenobarbitone compared with placebo or no treatment was associated with fewer convulsions (Relative Risk 0.30; 95% confidence interval 0.19 to 0.45; fixed effect model). REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:Routine phenobarbitone in cerebral malaria is associated with fewer convulsions but possibly more deaths. Further trials with adequate design, more participants, and different doses of anticonvulsant drugs are needed.

authors

Meremikwu M,Marson AG

doi

10.1002/14651858.CD002152

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-01-01 00:00:00

pages

CD002152

issue

2

issn

1469-493X

pii

CD002152

pub_type

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