Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants are used in the treatment of Viral Meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Seizures should be treated immediately with IV anticonvulsants, such as lorazepam, phenytoin, midazolam, or a barbiturate.

Lorazepam (Ativan)

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine and sedative hypnotic with short onset of effects and relatively long half-life. It increases the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, and may depress all levels of CNS, including limbic and reticular formation. It is important to monitor patient's blood pressure after administering dose and adjust as necessary.


Midazolam is a shorter-acting benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic useful in patients requiring acute and/or short-term sedation.


Phenytoin is a hydantoin that may act in motor cortex, where it may inhibit spread of seizure activity. Activity of brain stem centers responsible for tonic phase of grand mal seizures may also be inhibited. Phenytoin doses should be individualized.


Phenobarbital is a barbiturate that elevates seizure threshold, limits the spread of seizure activity, and has sedative effects.

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