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NIH sets trial of pediatric seizure medications.

Officials at the National Institutes of Health are launching a large-scale national trial designed to assess the safety and effectiveness of two common seizure medications in the treatment of children with status epilepticus in the emergency department. Currently diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) are prescribed based on the physician's best judgment, but few data are available to indicate which medication has the best safety and efficacy profile in children, according to the NIH. During the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded study, researchers at 11 participating hospitals will randomly assign children in status epilepticus to receive either lorazepam or diazepam. The medication will be assigned randomly by computer in an effort to eliminate any human bias. Because the medication must be administered within minutes of the patient's arrival, it will not be possible to obtain parental consent beforehand. However, once patients are stable, the parents will be asked for their consent. Currently, diazepam is approved for use in both adults and children. Lorazepam is approved to treat seizures in adults, but is commonly prescribed off label for children.

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Title Annotation:News; National Institutes of Health
Author:Schneider, Mary Ellen
Publication:Pediatric News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:180
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