16. Rescue Medications for Home Treatment of Acute Seizures

  1. John W. Miller MD, PhD Director, UW Regional Epilepsy Center, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery4 and
  2. Howard P. Goodkin MD, PhD The Shure Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology5
  1. Peter Wolf1 and
  2. Rūta Mameniškienė2,3

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch16



How to Cite

Wolf, P. and Mameniškienė, R. (2014) Rescue Medications for Home Treatment of Acute Seizures, in Epilepsy (eds J. W. Miller and H. P. Goodkin), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 4

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 5

    Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Danish Epilepsy Centre, Dianalund, Denmark

  2. 2

    Clinic of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

  3. 3

    Epilepsy Centre, Department of Neurology, Vilnius University Hospital SantariškiųKlinikos, Vilnius, Lithuania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456941

Online ISBN: 9781118456989



  • rescue medications;
  • benzodiazepines;
  • rectal drugs;
  • buccal drugs;
  • nasal drugs;
  • prolonged seizures;
  • seizure clusters;
  • febrile seizures;
  • prodromes;
  • seizure prevention


The use of rescue medications (RM) at home can avoid emergency hospital admissions. Conditions requiring RM include febrile and nonfebrile serial seizures of childhood, incipient recurrent status epilepticus and seizure series, and epilepsies with habitual clusters of seizures. RM can also be used to interrupt seizure prodromes or prolonged auras and to prevent seizures in sensitive social situations, with overnight or intercontinental travel and other lifestyle-related risks. The drugs used as RM are diazepam, midazolam, lorazepam, clobazam, and clonazepam, and the main routes of application are oral, rectal, buccal, and nasal. The choice of drug and route depends upon the individual situation. Patients, relatives, and other caretakers need detailed instructions to achieve optimal application of home treatment with RM.