HealthDay News — Lorazepam should not be preferentially used over diazepam in pediatric patients with convulsive status epilepticus, according to researchers.

“Among pediatric patients with convulsive status epilepticus, treatment with lorazepam did not result in improved efficacy or safety compared with diazepam,” James M. Chamberlain, MD, from the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They randomly assigned 273 children aged 3 months to <18 years who had convulsive status epilepticus to receive either diazepam (0.2 mg/kg; 140 patients) or lorazepam (0.1 mg/kg; 133 patients).

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The primary efficacy outcome of status epilepticus cessation for 10 minutes without recurrence within 30 minutes occurred in 101 patients in the diazepam group and 97 in the lorazepam group (72.1% vs. 72.9%), the researchers found. Assisted ventilation was required by 26 patients in each group (16% in diazepam and 17.6% in lorazepam; absolute risk difference, 1.6%).

Secondary outcomes (rates of seizure recurrence, times to cessation of status epilepticus, and return to baseline mental status) did not differ between the groups, except that lorazepam patients were more likely to be sedated (66.9% vs. 50%; absolute risk difference, 16.9%).


  1. Chamberlain J et al. JAMA. 2014; 311: 1652-1660.

Disclosures: One author disclosed financial ties to Mast Therapeutics.