CINCINNATI, June 10 (UPI) — University of Cincinnati researchers say they’ve determined the best means of halting a seizure is by administering the least direct medication.
Research leader Dr. Jason McMullan, an assistant professor of emergency medicine, said he compiled the results of six studies involving 774 patients and compared the efficacy of two seizure medications — diazepam and non-intravenous midazolam — in stopping seizures in children and young adults.
Diazepam is typically administered by either suppository or IV, while midazolam can be administered by a shot in a muscle or intranasally.
“Establishing IV access can be challenging, if not impossible, in convulsing patients,” McMullan noted. And while an intravenous medication may access the bloodstream faster, it can take a long time before the patient actually gets the medicine.
“It may be a little bit slower for midazolam administered via shot or nasal spray to work,” he said, “but when you factor in the time to start the IV or administer a suppository, then it becomes a lot quicker.”
McMullan found midazolam, administered by any route, was superior to diazepam for stopping seizures. Not only was midazolam administered faster than diazepam, it had no greater rate of respiratory side effects.
McMullan cautioned further studies involving adult patients and other anti-seizure medications are needed.
The study appears in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.
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