Intention to treat febrile convulsions with rectal diazepam, valproate or phenobarbitone

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1989 Oct;31(5):617-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1989.tb04047.x.


One hundred and eighty-six consecutive children aged between six and 72 months admitted to the Manchester Children's Hospitals with a febrile convulsion in the first year of life, a complicated febrile convulsion, or more than one febrile convulsion within two years, were allocated randomly to one of three groups who were offered rectal diazepam in the event of a subsequent prolonged febrile convulsion, or prophylactic treatment with sodium valproate or phenobarbitone. Over-all risk of recurrence was 30 per cent and adequate prophylactic treatment did not lessen this risk. Side-effects in 24 per cent of the valproate group and 61 per cent of the phenobarbitone group did not justify the use of prophylactic treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Rectal
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage
  • Diazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenobarbital / administration & dosage
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures, Febrile / drug therapy*
  • Valproic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Valproic Acid
  • Diazepam
  • Phenobarbital