How DIACOMIT can help you on your treatment journey
We know that caring for a child with Dravet syndrome can be a challenging path to walk. Explore this site to find answers to questions you may have about Dravet syndrome, from diagnosis and treatment to lifestyle management.
DIACOMIT is indicated for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome in patients 6 months and older (weighing 15 lb or more) taking clobazam. There are no clinical data to support the use of DIACOMIT by itself in Dravet syndrome.
Talk to your child’s doctor about DIACOMIT.
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The most common side effects are sleepiness, decreased appetite, agitation, impaired coordination, decreased weight, decreased muscle tone, nausea, tremor, slurred speech, and trouble sleeping.
All about Dravet syndrome
Learning the lay of the land
When your child with Dravet syndrome graduates from being a toddler to a child, life can feel uncertain and full of new roadblocks. Enter this section to learn more about Dravet syndrome progression and get an overview of the challenges you may face as your child gets older.
Not actual patients
What is Dravet syndrome?
Dravet (pronounced “drah-VAY”) syndrome is a lifelong disease that usually appears in the first year of life, when an otherwise normally developing child begins having frequent seizures. This can be frightening and disorienting, with the child experiencing long seizures often triggered by fever or changes in temperature.
Seizures may cause lasting damage, which over time can lead to cognitive and physical developmental delays. The primary goal of Dravet syndrome treatment is to reduce the frequency and length of seizures.
Unfortunately, seizures associated with Dravet syndrome can be resistant to treatment—multiple therapies and frequent regimen adjustments are often needed to control seizures.
- Is a rare and treatment-resistant form of epilepsy that often develops in the first year of life
- Occurs in 1 in 15,700 births in the United States
- Is most often caused by a genetic mutation that usually occurs “de novo” (or “new”)—neither parent carries the mutation
Dravet syndrome diagnosis
For children suffering from seizures, understanding the underlying cause can help guide more precise treatment. Earlier treatment could potentially contribute to better long-term outcomes.
Many children with Dravet syndrome are initially misdiagnosed. The patient’s initial brain scan may appear normal or their symptoms might lead doctors to diagnose a different form of epilepsy. Though not 100% conclusive, genetic testing is highly recommended.
Genetic testing is available at no cost for children up to the age of 8 through the Behind the Seizure® program at Invitae.com.
Genetic causes of Dravet syndrome:
- Dravet syndrome is most often caused by an abnormality in a gene called SCN1A
- The SCN1A gene is involved in transmitting signals between nerve cells
- The SCN1A mutation is seen in at least 75% of all Dravet syndrome patients
- Some patients will have a mutation in the gene and not have seizures; other patients without the gene mutation might have seizures that look like Dravet syndrome
- Around 5%-10% of cases are inherited, meaning that one of the parents will test positive for the same SCN1A gene mutation, but will not have the disease themself
- Other genetic abnormalities have also been associated with Dravet syndrome. Genes not yet identified may be involved as well
What to expect with Dravet syndrome
While each child will have a different experience, children with Dravet syndrome will have seizures and developmental delays ranging from mild to severe. Once your child reaches preschool or school age, you may notice that their seizures occur more frequently during sleep than while awake. Seizures often become shorter in duration, but they may happen in clusters. The types of seizures experienced by your child may also change.
Slowing of development usually becomes noticeable at preschool age. Behavior and attention problems may also begin, and your child may start showing signs of hyperactivity. Coordination issues may also appear around age 5.
Your primary source of care and information will be your child’s neurologist. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with them.
Seizures and developmental issues in children
For many children, seizures reach their highest frequency during these years, and may be accompanied by new developmental issues.
Triggers differ from one child to the next. Possible triggers include:
How DIACOMIT can help
Effective seizure relief
DIACOMIT offers a chance to significantly decrease the number of seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome. Learn more about the efficacy and safety of DIACOMIT and see if it could be the right next step for your child.
DIACOMIT—designed specifically for Dravet syndrome
DIACOMIT is an FDA-approved antiepileptic treatment that is used along with clobazam, another type of antiepileptic drug, to help reduce the number of seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome. There are no clinical data to support the use of DIACOMIT by itself in Dravet syndrome.
20 YEARS OF REAL-WORLD USE
DIACOMIT was the first antiepileptic drug that obtained an orphan designation at the European Medical Agency in 2001.
Proven seizure reduction in clinical studies
In 2 placebo-controlled clinical studies, patients were treated with either DIACOMIT plus clobazam or placebo plus clobazam and valproate.
While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, DIACOMIT is believed to help reduce seizures through:
- Direct effects that are caused through the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors in the brain
- Indirect effects that inhibit enzyme activity, which leads to increased blood levels of clobazam
Common side effects
The most common side effects with DIACOMIT are sleepiness, decreased appetite, agitation, impaired coordination, decreased weight, decreased muscle tone, nausea, tremor, slurred speech, and trouble sleeping.
Talk to your child’s doctor about DIACOMIT.
Daily life with Dravet syndrome
Working together as a family
Every person will have a different experience with Dravet syndrome, so it’s important to become familiar with your child’s individual needs and to design a lifestyle around them. Building routines and helping reduce your child’s risk of seizures are top priorities.
Not actual patients
Meeting the challenges of Dravet syndrome
Dravet syndrome and its management have an impact on almost every aspect of life, complicating simple daily activities and making spontaneous plans difficult.
Every child will have a different experience with Dravet syndrome. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the disease, and track your child’s experience so that you can confidently plan ahead for every possibility and help decide what’s best at each step.
Caring for a child with Dravet syndrome may be a challenge, but planning and staying one step ahead can help relieve some of the stress.
Here are some things you can do to be prepared:
- Track all seizures and triggers. The free, comprehensive tools at seizuretracker.com can help make this job a lot easier
- Learn seizure first aid and teach it to your family and friends. Information and digital classes are available at no cost through the Epilepsy Foundation® at epilepsy.com
- Have a written family emergency response plan created in partnership with your doctor
- Have a rescue therapy on hand. Your doctor may prescribe a fast-acting anti-seizure drug for emergencies
- Stay on top of doctor appointments and medication management
- Consider your child’s diet. Your doctor may suggest a ketogenic diet for your child. This is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that requires close monitoring by a doctor. Some common foods included in a ketogenic diet are:
- Low-carb vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, or zucchini
- Dairy products like cheese, plain Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Coconut or olive oil
It’s not easy for a child to stay on such a strict diet. Exploring fun and creative ways to present food to your child—like cutting food into fun shapes and using plates and utensils that will spark their imagination—may help. You may want to keep foods he or she shouldn’t eat out of sight and out of reach, and educate your family about the ketogenic diet so they can help your child stick to it. If the entire family follows a high-fat/protein, low-carbohydrate diet, it can help keep mealtimes manageable.
Be sure to consult with your doctors before incorporating a ketogenic diet or other lifestyle changes into your child’s treatment plan. You may require input from various members of their healthcare team in order to address your child’s specific challenges.
Helping your child navigate school
Children with Dravet syndrome can attend school, which can play an important role in their development, both cognitively and socially.
Your child will likely need an individualized education program (IEP) to support their schooling. The IEP sets academic and cognitive goals designed specifically for your child. This plan may involve a behavioral therapist, along with occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
School personnel should be familiar with your child’s diagnosis and know basic seizure first aid. They should also be familiar with seizure triggers and be aware of how to limit exposure. Your child should have a seizure action plan available at the school, along with rescue medication if prescribed by their doctor.
Making room for play
Discovering new ways to keep your child happy and engaged can often be a struggle. Try to find challenging activities for your child that allow them to have fun and provide therapeutic benefits, like outdoor activities. There are also camps specifically for kids with seizure disorders that provide a safe place for them to interact with peers who understand their condition.
Always check with your doctor before starting any new activity to make sure they are comfortable with your child’s participation, and never allow unsupervised activities.
Guidance and support
Building your support system
Managing a rare disease like Dravet syndrome can cause caregivers and families to feel lonely and isolated. Seeking support and community from friends, family, or other caregivers can help when times are difficult or when you need a reminder of your successes.
Resources to help you and your child steer through challenges
Take advantage of our expanding collection of resources. You can read about Dravet syndrome, discover new ways of helping your child navigate life, or find a support group to connect with other families like yours.
Get involved through these Dravet syndrome resources: