Objective: To determine the usefulness of midazolam as a therapeutic agent for status epilepticus refractory to conventional treatment.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: ICUs of two university hospitals.
Patients: Seven patients with refractory status epilepticus who failed treatment with diazepam, lorazepam, and phenytoin, with or without phenobarbital. All patients received mechanical ventilation before receiving midazolam.
Interventions: Intravenous midazolam by bolus administration followed by infusion.
Measurements and main results: Midazolam terminated status epilepticus in all patients in less than 100 secs, as determined by clinical observation (three patients) or electroencephalographic monitoring (four patients). One patient developed mild hypotension.
Conclusions: In this small study, midazolam appears to be an effective and safe alternative to high-dose barbiturate coma for the termination of status epilepticus when conventional agents have failed.