Intranasal Therapy to Stop Status Epilepticus in Prehospital Settings

Drugs R D. 2018 Mar;18(1):7-17. doi: 10.1007/s40268-017-0219-3.


Status epilepticus (SE) is a medical emergency characterized by uncontrolled, prolonged seizures with rapid and widespread neuronal damage. Patients that suffer from longer episodes of SE are more likely to have poorer clinical outcomes and a higher cost of healthcare. Understanding novel molecular mechanisms that regulate inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission that initiate SE and the necessary medical infrastructure to stop SE could help identify targets for early intervention. Intranasal administration of benzodiazepines may shorten the time between initiation and cessation of seizures when compared to other routes of administration. Current pharmaceutical administration guidelines are appropriate for sporadic incidences of SE, but exploring other approaches is necessary to prepare for situations involving multiple patients outside of a hospital, such as a massive chemical weapons attack. Intranasal drug delivery helps to circumvent the blood-brain barrier and offers a noninvasive way to quickly administer drugs in settings that require an immediate response, such as nerve agent exposure. In addition, examining the intranasal delivery of new drugs, such as nanotherapeutics, may lead to more effective, noninvasive, scalable, and portable methods of treating SE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal / methods*
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Status Epilepticus / drug therapy*
  • Synaptic Transmission / drug effects


  • Anticonvulsants