In a recent study Diazepam was found to significantly reduce the likelihood of intense convulsions resulted from fever, which thousands of young children and toddlers suffer from each year.
The study enrolled over 400 children examined in the course of four years, who were given oral doses of Diazepam, a strong sedative. The results have shown that by using this drug the frequency of febrile seizures caused by fever was significantly reduced. About four percent of all American children suffer from this type of convulsions each year.
Doctors state that such seizures don’t wield much potential hazard to the child in the long run, however they can give a strong stress to parents, and quite seldom can increase the likelihood of developing epilepsy especially among children who are naturally susceptible to this condition.
The authors behind the research and independent experts agree in that there’s a need to develop a new common treatment of febrile seizures, especially when another study has shown that the medication that is commonly used in such cases for over 40 years actually provides little benefit if not even harm.
Today most doctors use a single daily dose of phenobarbital for in those children who have had a history of seizures caused by fever in the first two years of their lives, with hope to prevent them in future. But according to a recent study phenobarbital can actually be harmful to children, making them lethargic and sometimes causing decline in the intellectual development over a long period of time.
In contrast, when doctors used periodic doses of Diazepam (also known as Valium) in cases of febrile seizures no major side-effects both in short and long run were observed. And the treatment was much more effective in comparison with the common one.
Of about four million children born in the US each year, nearly 160,000 suffer from seizures caused be fever. About one third of these children experience the condition repeatedly. It is interesting to note that the condition is more characteristic to boys than to girls, and is usually observed in the first two years of life, wearing off later on.