Convulsions associated with fever often occur in children 3 months to 5 years of age. Epilepsy later develops in approximately 2 to 3% of children who exhibit one or more such febrile seizures. Most authorities now recommend prophylactic treatment with anticonvulsant drugs only to patients at highest risk for development of epilepsy and for those who have multiple recurrent febrile seizures. Phenobarbital is the usual drug, although diazepam is also effective. Phenytoin and carba-mazepine are ineffective, and valproic acid may cause hepatotoxicity in very young patients.
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