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Brain Res. 1998 Dec 14;814(1-2):179-85.

Time-dependent decrease in the effectiveness of antiepileptic drugs during the course of self-sustaining status epilepticus.

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Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA,


An animal model of self-sustaining status epilepticus (SSSE) induced in rats by brief intermittent perforant path stimulation (PPS) was examined with regard to the effects of two conventional antiepileptic drugs, diazepam and phenytoin. Thirty or sixty minutes PPS induced SSSE characterized by continuous behavioral and electrographic seizures lasting for hours. Both diazepam (10 mg/kg i. v.) and phenytoin (50 mg/kg i.v.) prevented the establishment of SSSE when administered 10 min prior to PPS. The injection of diazepam to seizing animals, 10 min after the end of 30 min PPS, was significantly less effective than pretreatment in attenuating SSSE. Administration of diazepam after 60 min PPS was characterized by a further decrease of its efficacy. Phenytoin was effective in aborting SSSE when injected 10 min after 30 min PPS. However, its efficacy was vastly decreased if injected 40 min after 30 min PPS, or 10 min after 60 min PPS. It is concluded that antiepileptic drugs, while highly effective in blocking the induction of SSSE, failed to affect its maintenance. SSSE induced by PPS is an advantageous animal model of refractory status epilepticus, which may be used in preclinical studies of novel antiepileptic drugs.

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