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Health Agencies Update
June 27, 2007

Pediatric Seizure Drugs Tested

JAMA. 2007;297(24):2686. doi:10.1001/jama.297.24.2686-a

A study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is designed to determine which of the 2 drugs commonly prescribed to treat status epilepticus in children is safer and more effective. Status epilepticus affects up to 8 in 1000 children before they reach age 15 years and is fatal in 4% of cases.

The study will be conducted at 11 hospitals in which children presenting to the emergency departments with status epilepticus will be randomly assigned to either diazepam or lorazepam (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/study_pediatric_seizure_QA_052207.cfm). Diazepam is approved for use in adults and children while lorazepam is approved for adults but is being used off label for children.

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