New study evaluates comparative effectiveness of epilepsy drugs

Posted Apr 30 2014 in Epilepsy in children

New research from the US has shed light on the comparative effectiveness of medications used for treating epileptic seizures in children.

A team from the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC aimed to evaluate claims that the drug lorazepam may be more effective or safer than diazepam in treating status epilepticus, a prolonged form of epileptic seizure affecting younger patients.

They randomly assigned 273 patients to receive diazepam or lorazepam intravenously, finding that 72.9 per cent of the lorazepam group were treated effectively, compared to 72.1 per cent of those receiving diazepam.

It suggests lorazepam is not better at stopping seizures than diazepam, which can be stored without refrigeration and is therefore used as the treatment of choice in many prehospital systems.

The researchers said: “The results of this study do not support the superiority of lorazepam over diazepam as a first-line agent for pediatric status epilepticus.”

Convulsive status epilepticus is defined as a form of convulsive seizure which continues for a period of more than five minutes, or when convulsive seizures occur consecutively with no recovery in between.

Posted by Bob Jones

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