Lorazepam in status epilepticus

Annals of Neurology
J E WalkerW G Tasker


Lorazepam, a dichloro-3-hydroxy-1,4-benzodiazepine, has been shown to be a potent anticonvulsant in animal models of epilsepsy and has minimal depressant effects on respiration and circulation in humans. The effects of this compound were studied in status epilepticus. Twenty-five patients were given intravenous lorazepam during status epilepticus of varying cause. Four or 8 mg of the drug controlled status in 22 of the 25 patients. Although single seizures recurred in 5 of the 22 patients, none experienced recurrence of status during a prolonged follow-up period. Transient respiratory arrest occurred in 1 patient, but no other significant complications were observed. Studies of plasma drug levels suggest that most patients attain good seizure control at concentrations between 30 and 100 ng per milliliter. Clinical observations indicate that repetitive injections are not required for continuing control of seizures in patients whose seizures are initially controlled. Lorazepam appears to be an effective and safe drug for treatment of status epilepticus, with a duration of control longer than that achieved with diazepam.


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