Rectal diazepam is widely used in the treatment of acute seizures in children but has some disadvantages. Nasal/sublingual midazolam administration has been recently investigated for this purpose but never at home or in a general paediatric hospital. The aim of this open study was to determine the efficacy, the tolerance and the applicability of nasal midazolam during acute seizures in children both in hospital and at home. We included known epileptic children for treatment at home and all children with acute seizures in the hospital. In all, 26 children were enrolled, 11 at home and 17 in the hospital (including two treated in both locations); only one had simple febrile seizure. They had a total of 125 seizures; 122 seizures (98%) stopped within 10 minutes (average 3.6 minutes). Two patients in the hospital did not respond and in three, seizures recurred within 3 hours. None had serious adverse effects. Parents had no difficulties administering the drug at home. Most of those who were using rectal diazepam found that nasal midazolam was easier to use and that postictal recovery was faster. Among 15 children who received the drug under electroencephalogram monitoring (six without clinical seizures), the paroxysmal activity disappeared in ten and decreased in three. Nasal midazolam is efficient in the treatment of acute seizures. It appears to be safe and most useful outside the hospital in severe epilepsies, particularly in older children because it is easy for parents to use. These data should be confirmed in a larger sample of children. Its usefulness in febrile convulsions also remains to be evaluated.
Copyright 1999 European Paediatric Neurology Society.