Fenfluramine provides clinically meaningful reduction in frequency of drop seizures in patients with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome: Interim analysis of an open-label extension study

Kelly G. Knupp, Ingrid E. Scheffer, Berten Ceulemans, Joseph Sullivan, Katherine C. Nickels, Lieven Lagae, Renzo Guerrini, Sameer M. Zuberi, Rima Nabbout, Kate Riney, Anupam Agarwal, Michael Lock, David Dai, Gail M. Farfel, Bradley S. Galer, Arnold R. Gammaitoni, Shikha Polega, Ronald Davis, Antonio Gil-Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study was undertaken to evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of fenfluramine in patients with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Methods: Eligible patients with LGS who completed a 14-week phase 3 randomized clinical trial enrolled in an open-label extension (OLE; NCT03355209). All patients were initially started on.2 mg/kg/day fenfluramine and after 1 month were titrated by effectiveness and tolerability, which were assessed at 3-month intervals. The protocol-specified treatment duration was 12 months, but COVID-19-related delays resulted in 142 patients completing their final visit after 12 months. Results: As of October 19, 2020, 247 patients were enrolled in the OLE. Mean age was 14.3 ± 7.6 years (79 [32%] adults) and median fenfluramine treatment duration was 364 days; 88.3% of patients received 2–4 concomitant antiseizure medications. Median percentage change in monthly drop seizure frequency was −28.6% over the entire OLE (n = 241) and −50.5% at Month 15 (n = 142, p <.0001); 75 of 241 patients (31.1%) experienced ≥50% reduction in drop seizure frequency. Median percentage change in nondrop seizure frequency was −45.9% (n = 192, p =.0038). Generalized tonic–clonic seizures (GTCS) and tonic seizures were most responsive to treatment, with median reductions over the entire OLE of 48.8% (p <.0001, n = 106) and 35.8% (p <.0001, n = 186), respectively. A total of 37.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 31.4%–44.1%, n = 237) of investigators and 35.2% of caregivers (95% CI = 29.1%–41.8%, n = 230) rated patients as Much Improved/Very Much Improved on the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale. The most frequent treatment-emergent adverse events were decreased appetite (16.2%) and fatigue (13.4%). No cases of valvular heart disease (VHD) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) were observed. Significance: Patients with LGS experienced sustained reductions in drop seizure frequency on fenfluramine treatment, with a particularly robust reduction in frequency of GTCS, the key risk factor for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Fenfluramine was generally well tolerated; VHD or PAH was not observed long-term. Fenfluramine may provide an important long-term treatment option for LGS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Lennox–Gastaut syndrome
  • developmental and epileptic encephalopathies
  • fenfluramine
  • long-term open-label extension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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