A New Way to Treat Status Epilepticus at Home

Image Citation Source by PiccoloNamek used under CC by-sa 3.0
Status epilepticus is a condition in which seizures occur non-stop, one after the other. It is a dangerous condition that can cause brain damage or even death. Status epilepticus needs to be brought under control as soon as possible once it occurs.

The current procedure is to send patients to the hospital where they receive lorazepam (an anti-epileptic medication within the drug class 'benzodiazepines') by intravenous injection. It would be better if treatment could start right away, without the trip to the hospital.

Dr. Peter Carlen at the Toronto Western Hospital is working with Dr. Michael Weisspapir of East Gate Pharmaceuticals to develop a new "transmucosal" lorazepam spray that can be used at home. It will be sprayed into the patient's mouth or onto the lips, and will provide a safe and much more rapid way of treating status epilepticus. The new spray will go into clinical trials in 2016.

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