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Benzodiazepines: efficacy in status epilepticus.

Both our personal experience and the findings of others indicate that the benzodiazepines (a) are the drugs of first choice for control of status epilepticus occurring in patients with primary generalized epilepsy (90%-100% effective) or control of hemiclonic convulsions in children without brain lesions, (b) are effective in approximately 60% of cases of status epilepticus occurring in partial epilepsy, (c) are effective in only 15% to 59% of cases of tonic status or various types of absence status occurring in secondary generalized epilepsy (but no other drug is more effective), (d) are helpful in status epilepticus occurring in nonepileptic patients if there is no overt brain lesion (but give only temporary relief when status is the result of a severe organic brain lesion), and (e) are generally safe drugs.

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