Patients with epilepsy clusters can benefit from rescue medications, but these drugs are underutilized according to a recent review of the medical literature.
- Saba Jafarpour from Boston Children’s Hospital, and associates found that the definition of epilepsy clusters differs among experts, including 3 or more seizures in 24 hours, 2 or more in 24 hours, and 2 or more in 6 hours.
- Most of the research analyzed by the investigators was conducted at tertiary centers on patients with refractory epilepsy.
- Although rectal diazepam gel is the only medication approved by the FDA as a rescue drug for seizure clusters, the researchers found that non-rectal oral benzodiazepines are effective and safe for outpatient treatment of these clusters.
- Acute treatment of seizure clusters can help prevent status epilepticus and reduce emergency department visits.
Jafarpour S, Hirsch LJ, Gaínza-Lein M, Kellinghaus C, Detyniecki K. Seizure cluster: definition, prevalence, consequences, and management [Published online ahead of print May 21,2018]. Seizure. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2018.05.013.