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September 1973

Serum Concentrations of Diazepam in Subjects With Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

Madison, Wis
From the Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin (Madison) Center for Health Sciences.

Arch Neurol. 1973;29(3):191-194. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490270073012

Serum diazepam concentrations were monitored during a series of intravenous diazepam injections in patients with epilepsy. Suppression of spontaneous specific epileptiform paroxysmal discharges and protection against stroboscopic stimulation in photosensitive subjects were correlated with the serum concentrations, and the results were compared to a series of patients taking diazepam orally. Our results confirm the unique sensitivity of photoconvulsive responses, but suggest that suppression of spontaneous discharges is more a function of high serum concentrations of diazepam than it is of the clinicalelectroencephalogram classification. The results also suggest that failure of diazepam orally as an anticonvulsant in many subjects is related to serum concentrations significantly lower than those found necessary to suppress interictal epileptiform discharges following intravenous injection.