How is absence status epilepticus (SE) treated?

Updated: Feb 13, 2018
  • Author: Julie L Roth, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Benzodiazepines and valproate are the treatments of choice for absence SE. Valproic acid is available in intravenous (IV) form. The theoretical advantage is that it can be continued long term after the acute episode. Valproate is loaded at a dose of 25 mg/kg IV in a 50-mL solution and infused over 10 minutes. The next dose is given 3 hours later, after which every-6-hour dosing can be started. The drug should never be given intramuscularly. Ethosuximide also can be useful, but is not available in parenteral form.


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