Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Dev. 1996 Nov-Dec;18(6):438-49.

Febrile seizures--treatment and outcome.

Author information

Glostrup University Hospital, Pediatric Department, Denmark.


Assessment of treatment strategies in febrile seizures should be based on short- and long-term outcomes, with and without acute, intermittent, or chronic medical intervention, as well as short- and long-term side effects. Febrile seizures are a benign condition with a normal neurological, motor, intellectual, and cognitive long-term outcome and have a low risk of later epilepsy in most cases. Even many complex febrile seizures have a benign outcome. Prophylaxis may or may not reduce the recurrence rate, but does not appear to improve the long-term outcome as compared to acute treatment of seizures in progress. All agree that chronic prophylaxis with anti-epileptic agents is justified only in highly selected cases, if at all. Treatment with benzodiazepines during febrile episodes appears to effectively reduce the recurrence rate, provided adequate doses are given and compliance problems minimized. A selective approach to intermittent diazepam prophylaxis seems rational, as the recurrence risk and response to treatment are highly variable. An attractive alternative is acute treatment at seizure onset with rectal diazepam in solution given by the parents at home in order to prevent prolonged recurrent seizures. This regimen has the potential of moving the first line of anti-convulsant defence close to the child. It appears to be effective, inexpensive, feasible even for non-professionals, has few side effects and is well accepted by the parents. A reasonable policy would be to treat simple febrile seizures solely with acute rectal diazepam in solution and reserve intermittent diazepam prophylaxis for selected cases including those with multiple or prolonged recurrences, several risk factors for recurrent febrile seizures and other special situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center