How are convulsions stopped?

Always look very carefully for the cause and treat this if possible. If a fit last longer than 5 minutes it can be usually be stopped with one of the following:

  • A single dose of rectal diazepam (Valium) 0.5 mg/kg. Intravenous diazepam may cause apnoea unless given very slowly.
  • Phenobarbitone 15 mg/kg intravenously or intramuscularly. This is safe.
  • Phenytoin 15 mg/kg by slow intravenous injection can also be used. Never give phenytoin intramuscularly, as it damages the tissues locally.

Lorazepam 0.1 mg/kg intravenously is very effective at stopping a convulsion. Buccal midazolam 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg is also effective.

Any convulsion lasting longer than 5 minutes should be stopped.

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