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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 114-117

Ramadan fasting in children with epilepsy: An exploratory study

Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, P.O. Box: 2951, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Waseem Mahmoud Fathalla
Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, P.O. Box: 2951, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-489X.210371

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Objective: To observe seizure occurrence during the month of Ramadan among fasting Muslim children with epilepsy who are on treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Methods: Prospective observational study of pediatric patients with epilepsy intending to fast in Ramadan of the year 2011 and 2012. Patients identified through pediatric neurology clinic visits in the 3 months prior to Ramadan were asked whether they plan to fast Ramadan or not. They were counseled on medication compliance, medication rescheduling, seizure precautions, and management of breakthrough seizures. Patients were advised against fasting if their epilepsy was not controlled. The outcome was assessed by verbal report on their follow up visit after Ramadan. Results: 20 patients (13 males, 7 females, with age range of 7-14 years, median age 10 years) with 19 reported patient fasting cycles were identified (2 patients fasted on both years, 3 patients did not fast). There were only 2 reported seizures in 19 patient fasting cycles. All patients reported compliance with the medication schedule as directed in the pre-Ramadan visit. There were no reported adverse effects to the new schedule of medication administration. Conclusions: Fasting Ramadan in children with epilepsy appears to be feasible with proper physician guidance and patient compliance. Anticipatory guidance is essential in caring for children with epilepsy who intend to participate in religious based activities that may potentially modify their risk for seizures.

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