Acute seizure therapies in people with epilepsy: Fact or fiction? A U.S. Perspective

William O. Tatum, Tracy Glauser, Jurriaan M. Peters, Amit Verma, Sarah Weatherspoon, Selim Benbadis, Danielle A. Becker, Vinay Puri, Michael Smith, Sunita N. Misra, Adrian L. Rabinowicz, Enrique Carrazana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Patients with epilepsy (PWE) may experience seizure emergencies including acute repetitive seizures despite chronic treatment with daily antiseizure medications. Seizures may adversely impact routine daily activities and/or healthcare utilization and may impair the quality of life of patients with epilepsy and their caregivers. Seizures often occur at home, school, or work in a community setting. Appropriate treatment that is readily accessible for patients with seizure urgencies and emergencies is essential outside the hospital setting. When determining the best acute antiseizure therapy for PWE, clinicians need to consider all of the available rescue medications and their routes of administration including the safety and efficacy profiles. Benzodiazepines are a standard of care as a rescue therapy, yet there are several misconceptions about their use and safety. Reevaluating potential misconceptions and formulating best practices are necessary to maximize usage for each available option of acute therapy. We examine common beliefs associated with traditional use of acute seizure therapies to refute or support them based on the current level of evidence in the published literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100612
Pages (from-to)100612
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior Reports
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Acute repetitive seizures
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Rescue therapy
  • Seizure cluster
  • Therapeutic misconception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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