Seizure Rescue Medication Use among US Pediatric Epilepsy Providers: A Survey of the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium

Adam Wallace, Elaine Wirrell, Eric Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess how pediatric neurologists prescribe home seizure rescue medications to treat acute prolonged seizures and clusters of seizures in children. Study design: A brief, email survey was sent to the members of the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium assessing seizure rescue medication prescribing practices for patients of different age groups, cognitive abilities, and seizure type. Survey responses were anonymous. Results: Thirty-six respondents (of 76 surveyed; 47% response rate) completed the survey. Rectal diazepam was the most commonly chosen rescue medication for a prolonged convulsive seizure in a severely developmentally delayed 16-year-old (44%) and typical and delayed 7-year-old (44% and 61%, respectively), 3-year-old (78% and 86%, respectively), and 9-month-old (83%) patients. Most responders (69%) indicated that developmentally typical 16-year-olds would be prescribed intranasal midazolam. For clusters of seizures, clonazepam orally disintegrating tablets were the most frequent first-line option in all age groups, except developmentally delayed 3-year-old and 9-month-old children, for whom rectal diazepam was chosen more commonly. Medication dosing generally followed standard dosing guidelines with very few exceptions. Conclusions: Rectal diazepam remains the most frequently used rescue medication for prolonged seizures for nearly all age groups, except in developmentally typical teenagers, for whom intranasal midazolam is used more often. Clonazepam orally disintegrating tablets are the most frequently used medication for treatment of clusters of seizures, except in younger patients. Further work is necessary to establish best practices for type and administration route of seizure rescue medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • benzodiazepine
  • seizure action plan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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