Generalized convulsive status epilepticus (GCSE) has a high morbidity and mortality, such that the rapid delivery of anticonvulsant therapy should be initiated within minutes of seizure onset to prevent permanent neuronal damage. GCSE is not a specific disease but is a manifestation of either a primary central nervous system (CNS) insult or a systemic disorder with secondary CNS effects. It is mandatory to look for an underlying cause. First-line therapies for seizures and status epilepticus include the use of a benzodiazepine, followed by an infusion of a phenytoin with a possible role for intravenous valproate or phenobarbital. If these first-line medications fail to terminate the GCSE, treatment includes the continuous infusion of midazolam, pentobarbital, or propofol.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.