Pediatric status epilepticus: improved management with new drug therapies?

Alberto Verrotti, Michela Ambrosi, Piero Pavone, Pasquale Striano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Status Epilepticus (SE) is the most common neurological emergency of childhood. It requires prompt administration of appropriately selected anti-seizure medications. Areas covered: Following a distinction between estabilished and emergent drugs, we present pharmacological treatment options and their clinical utility in children, with a short mention on alternatives to drug treatment. We also propose an algorithm for the management of pediatric SE. For this review a Pubmed, Medline and Embase search was performed. Expert opinion: In early SE in children, in the prehospital setting, rectal diazepam or buccal midazolam are efficacious drugs; whereas in the hospital setting, intravenous lorazepam or diazepam are indicated. As regard estabilished stage of SE, in addition to the 'classic' compounds, such as phenytoin and phenobarbital, other drugs such as valproic acid, levetiracetam and lacosamide have been demonstrated efficacious. Treatment recommendations of refractory SE depend on retrospective case series and uncontrolled studies. We reported experiences about the use of midazolam, propofol, ketamine and lidocaine. They could be a valid option, but further prospective studies are necessary. Over the last few decades, important advances in basic mechanisms underlying refractory SE have been achieved, but few data are available regarding management of these stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-798
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Algorithms
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Child
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Humans
  • Ketamine
  • Midazolam
  • Piracetam
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Valproic Acid
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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