Rectal administration of antiepileptic drugs in children

Pediatr Neurol. 1987 Nov-Dec;3(6):321-6. doi: 10.1016/0887-8994(87)90001-4.


This article reviews the current literature describing the use of rectally administered antiepileptic drugs. Individual antiepileptic drugs are discussed in regard to efficacy, toxicity, and rate of absorption. Absorption occurs through passive diffusion; therefore, solutions are absorbed most quickly. Paraldehyde, diazepam, secobarbital, and valproic acid are used when rapid effect for termination of prolonged or serial seizures is desired. Valproic acid, lorazepam, carbamazepine, and phenytoin all can be used for maintenance therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Rectal
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anticonvulsants