RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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[Choice and administration sequence of antiepileptic agents for status epilepticus and frequent seizures in children].

We investigated the sequence of the administration, the efficacy and the safety of antiepileptic drugs (AED) given intravenously for the treatment of status epilepticus and frequent seizures in children. Our institute has a recommended sequence of AED administration for treatment of status epilepticus: the first-line agent is diazepam (0.3 - 0.5 mg/kg administered intravenously, once or twice). The second-line drugs include midazolam (0.15 - 0.4 mg/kg intravenously, once or twice, and if necessary, followed by continuous infusion at 0.06 - 0.18 mg/kg/hour), lidocaine (1 - 2 mg/kg intravenously, once or twice, and if necessary, followed by continuous infusion at 2 - 4 mg/kg/hour) and phenytoin (10 - 20 mg/kg, infused slowly). For those patients who previously experienced a seizure which was refractory to diazepam but responsive to the second-line agent, it was recommended to use the second-line agent as a first-line agent. When seizures were refractory to the first and second-line agents, thiopental was administered (3 - 10 mg/kg intravenously, and if necessary, followed by continuous infusion at 2 -5 mg/kg/hour). The etiologies of 177 occasions of status epilepticus and frequent seizures were categorized into two groups:epilepsy (n = 95) and situation-related seizures (n = 82). Situation-related seizures included febrile seizures (n = 44), acute encephalopathy/encephalitis (n = 31) and benign infantile convulsions (n = 7). The ages of the patients ranged from 0.1 to 18.4 years (average +/- SD:3.69 +/- 3.15 years). Diazepam was administered as the first-line drug on 157 of 177 occasions (88.7%). On 116 occasions the second-line agents were administered. Midazolam and lidocaine were injected as the second-line agent on 54 (46.6%), and on 33 (28.4%) occasions, respectively, although both midazolam and lidocaine injections were off-label use for seizure control in Japan. Thiopental was used as the third to fifth-line agent. Effective ratios (effective occasions/total occasions) of each drug were the following: thiopental 19/21 (90.4%), midazolam 57/99 (57.6%), lidocaine 25/60 (41.7%), phenytoin 16/41 (39.0%), diazepam 59/164 (36.0%). Thiopental was statistically more effective than midazolam, lidocaine, diazepam or phenytoin (p < 0.01), and midazolam was statistically more effective than diazepam (p < 0.01) or phenytoin (p < 0.05). Administration of thiopental caused complications more frequently than the other agents (p < 0.01): The complications by thiopental were severe in some cases requiring intratracheal intubations and artificial ventilation. From the viewpoint of both efficacy and safety, midazolam should be recommended as one of the first-line agents for status epilepticus.

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