Autoinjectors Found To Be Safe and Effective for Treating Prolonged Seizures
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER
National researchers, including a team from University of Maryland School of Medicine, have determined that giving seizure medication into a muscle using an autoinjector, similar to the EpiPen used to treat serious allergic reaction, is a faster and more effective way to stop status epilepticus, a prolonged seizure lasting more than five minutes. Status epilepticus is a potentially life-threatening emergency that causes 55,000 deaths each year, according to federal researchers. “The first-line treatment for these dangerous seizures has been for paramedics to give anticonvulsant drugs intravenously (IV), but that can be hard to do when someone is having a seizure. The longer someone is having a seizure, the more likelihood there will be for brain damage or other complications. This research shows that giving an intramuscular shot is fast, reliable and effective especially in patients having convulsions,” says study investigator Tricia Ting, M.D, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The study, called the Rapid Anticonvulsant Medications Prior to Arrival Trial (RAMPART), compared two medicines known to be effective in controlling seizures: midazolam and lorazepam. Midazolam was a candidate for injection because it is rapidly absorbed from muscle, but lorazepam must be given by IV. The study found that 73 percent of patients in the group receiving the injected midazolam were seizure-free upon arrival to the hospital, compared to 63 percent of patients who received IV treatment with lorazepam. Patients treated with the injected drug were also less likely to require hospitalization than those receiving the IV medication. Both groups had similarly low rates of recurrent seizures. Learn more at http://bit.ly/Ar2kAt.