The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approving Fintepla (fenfluramine), a Schedule IV controlled drug, for the treatment of Dravet syndrome seizures in patients aged 2 years and older . Dravet syndrome is a rare, debilitating, severe form of epilepsy and a part of a group of seizure-related disorders known as SCN1A disorders . The disorder appears as recurrent febrile seizures during the first year of life . Other types of seizures then occur as the disorder progresses, including myoclonus and status epilepticus . A family history of either epilepsy or febrile seizures exists in 15% to 25% of cases . Around 85% of Dravet syndrome cases are due to a mutation in the SCN1A gene, which is essential for the proper function of brain cells . The cause is unknown in about 10% of cases but other genes are likely the cause . Symptoms of Dravet Syndrome appears in the form of intellectual development regression, lack of coordination, hyperactivity, and others . Till now, FDA has approved two drugs for treating Dravet syndrome besides Fintepla (fenfluramine), which are Cannabidiol and Stiripentol . Dravet syndrome patients require constant care as it affects the patient’s quality of life . The average death age is about 8 years and ranges from infancy to 18 years of age .
Sources: 1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Approves New Therapy for Dravet Syndrome. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-therapy-dravet-syndrome. Published 2020. Accessed June 28, 2020.
2. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program. Dravet syndrome . http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10430/dravet-syndrome#:~:text=Dravet%20syndrome%20is%20a%20severe,-related%20(febrile)%20seizures. Published 2020. Accessed June 28, 2020.