Who wouldn’t want to stop — or even alleviate — a seizure? Well, you may be surprised at the different options you have. (I was surprised myself!)
Some methods stop a seizure in it’s tracks. Some shorten seizures. And some relieve you of the dreaded after-effects. So, even though they may not be effective or attractive to you, here are some possibilities you might not have known about…
The big news is Midazolam, which has a fast and radically different effect. If you don’t know about it (I didn’t), read carefully…
In a new critical study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that injecting emergency anti-seizure medication (such as Midazolam ) into the muscle, can stop prolonged seizures – those seizures that last for five minutes or longer – faster than if it were administered through an IV line.
On average, the seizures were shorter for those patients who were administered a shot of Midazolam, directly into the thigh muscle — using an auto-injector (similar to an EpiPen), and lasted just 1 1/2 minutes after the medication was injected. By contrast, patients who received anticonvulsant drugs by IV drip, suffered longer seizures, which continued on average for as long as five minutes before the treatment took effect.
In short, administrating the new drug Midazolam has shown to be a faster and more effective method for emergency seizure first aid.
Some children use Ativan or Klonpin tablets or wafers, placed under the tongue for rescue from seizure activity – which is an excellent way to go. Especially since establishing an IV can be challenging, if not impossible, in convulsing patients.
While an intravenous medication may access the bloodstream faster, it can take a long time before the patient actually gets the IV medicine. And it’s important to determine the correct dose.
Then there’s Diastat. Traditionally, it’s been the first line of fire in rescue meds for extreme seizures. It’s available in a gel form that is inserted into the patient’s rectum to stop a cluster of repeated seizures. (It’s absorbed more quickly that way.) However, children, adults and caretakers aren’t too keen about it, and you can understand why. But recently, it’s been made available in a liquid oral form that comes in a syringe and goes right into the cheek of the mouth.
Recent articles discuss the possibility of delivering an antiepileptic drug quickly by nasal spray. That kind of a delivery method would provide something for people as they felt a seizure coming on. Or if they were in the midst of a cluster of seizures. Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, and Midazolam nasal sprays are still under study as a way to stop seizures. Of course, the majority of patients tested preferred the nasal spray in terms of convenience. (Ask your neuro about them, because they’re relatively new.)
In short, you have these options plus a whole lot more AEDs which might help control seizure activity. Find out more about these. (Believe it or not, your pharmacist could be a terrific source because he/she’s worked with most of the meds and knows the up-sides and the down-sides.) And remember, once you know all your options, you may be less fearful and more in control when a seizure strikes.
Additional articles of interest:
Common Epilepsy Triggers
Weird Epilepsy Triggers…
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About the author
Phylis Feiner Johnson has been a professional copywriter for 30 years. She also spent 20 years with epilepsy. She writes from the heart to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. For further information, contact The Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania at http://www.efepa.org/ and please make a contribution to become an advocate, too.