Intranasal midazolam vs rectal diazepam in acute childhood seizures

Pediatr Neurol. 2006 May;34(5):355-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2005.09.006.


One hundred eighty-eight seizure episodes in 46 children were randomly assigned to receive treatment with rectal diazepam and intranasal midazolam with doses of 0.3 mg/kg body weight and 0.2 mg/kg body weight, respectively. Efficacy of the drugs was assessed by drug administration time and seizure cessation time. Heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation were measured before and after 5, 10, and 30 minutes following administration of the drugs in both groups. Mean time from arrival of doctor to drug administration was 68.3 +/- 55.12 seconds in the diazepam group and 50.6 +/- 14.1 seconds in the midazolam group (P = 0.002). Mean time from drug administration to cessation of seizure was significantly less in the midazolam group than the diazepam group (P = 0.005). Mean heart rate and blood pressure did not vary significantly between the two drug groups. However, mean respiratory rate and oxygen saturation differed significantly between the two drug groups at 5, 10, and 30 minutes after drug administration. Intranasal midazolam is preferable to rectal diazepam in the treatment of acute seizures in children. Its administration is easy, it has rapid onset of action, has no significant effect on respiration and oxygen saturation, and is socially acceptable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Diazepam / adverse effects
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • GABA Modulators / administration & dosage*
  • GABA Modulators / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage*
  • Midazolam / adverse effects
  • Rectum
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticonvulsants
  • GABA Modulators
  • Diazepam
  • Midazolam