Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Infantile Spasm (West Syndrome)?

Updated: Jan 11, 2019
  • Author: Tracy A Glauser, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Benzodiazepines

By binding to specific receptor sites, these agents appear to potentiate the effects of GABA and facilitate inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters.

However, a 2004 American Academy of Neurology and Child Neurology Society practice parameter concluded that "there is insufficient evidence to recommend benzodiazepines for the treatment of infantile spasms (level U, Class III and IV evidence)." [45]

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam is considered a second-line AED therapy against spasms associated with West syndrome. However, adverse effects and the development of tolerance limit the drug's usefulness over time. Nitrazepam and clobazam are not approved by the FDA but are available in many countries worldwide.


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