Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Seizure. 2005 Apr;14(3):164-9.

Intravenous valproate as an innovative therapy in seizure emergency situations including status epilepticus--experience in 102 adult patients.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Klinikum Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.



The emergency treatment of seizures is an important practical issue, in particular the therapy of status epilepticus. Antiepileptic drugs for this condition should be easy to use, show rapid action, have a long-lasting antiepileptic effect, and have minimal cardiopulmonary and other side-effects. Unfortunately, none of the presently available medications such as phenytoin and barbiturates seems to have all of these four properties. Intravenous valproate became available some years ago and first experiences show promising safety data and efficacy results.


We report a series of 102 adult patients who received standardized high dosage intravenous valproate in various emergency situations, including status epilepticus. The therapeutic goal was persistent seizure control, defined as successful interruption of clinical seizure activity within less than 15 min, followed by seizure freedom during intravenous therapy for at least 12h. All side effects were documented.


In 83/97 patients (85.6%) the therapeutic goal was achieved. Serious side effects were not documented in any patient. In particular there was no evidence of sedation, cardiorespiratory disturbances and hypotension as often seen in barbiturates and phenytoin. Mild side effects occurred in seven cases (6.9%).


The intravenous application of VPA seems to be an easy-to-use, safe and efficient formulation as an alternative to phenytoin in all seizure emergency situations including status epilepticus. Further controlled comparison studies have to be performed in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center