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Clin Ther. 1992 Mar-Apr;14(2):292-305.

Flumazenil and seizures: analysis of 43 cases.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Abstract

Flumazenil is a new drug indicated for the reversal of the sedative effects of benzodiazepines mediated at the benzodiazepine-receptor site. Worldwide sources to date have disclosed 43 cases of seizures related, at least temporally, to the intravenous administration of flumazenil. There was no apparent relationship between the dose of flumazenil and the development of seizures, which occurred at doses ranging from 0.2 to 10.0 mg. The seizures were not considered to be a toxic effect of flumazenil, but many of them probably were due to an unmasking of the anticonvulsant effect of the previously used benzodiazepine or to a severe benzodiazepine-withdrawal syndrome. Eighteen (42%) of the patients had ingested overdoses of cyclic antidepressants, which were considered responsible for the seizures. In addition to patients with concurrent cyclic antidepressant poisoning, high-risk populations include patients who have been treated with benzodiazepines for a seizure disorder or an acute convulsive episode, patients with concurrent major sedative-hypnotic drug withdrawal, patients who have recently been treated with repeated doses of parenteral benzodiazepines, and overdose patients with myoclonic jerking or seizure activity before flumazenil administration. To minimize the likelihood of a seizure, it is recommended that flumazenil not be administered to patients who have used benzodiazepines for the treatment of seizure disorders or to patients who have ingested drugs (eg, cyclic antidepressants, cocaine, lithium, methylxanthines, isoniazid, propoxyphene, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, buproprion HCl, and cyclosporine) that place them at risk for the development of seizures.

PMID:
1611650
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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