Intranasal Midazolam Versus Rectal Diazepam for Treatment of Seizures


The investigators will conduct a randomized controlled trial comparing the use of nasal midazolam, using a Mucosal Atomization Devise, to rectal diazepam for the treatment of acute seizure activity in children under the age of 18 years with epilepsy in the community setting. The primary hypothesis is that nasal midazolam will be more effective and have shorter seizure time compared to rectal diazepam in the community. The secondary hypotheses are that patients treated with nasal midazolam will have fewer respiratory complications, emergency department visits, and admissions.

Full Title of Study: “Intranasal Midazolam Versus Rectal Diazepam for the Home Treatment of Seizure Activity in Pediatric Patients With Epilepsy”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 2008

Detailed Description

Study Design: This is a prospective randomized controlled study. Study Procedures: Parents/guardians will be provided with a stopwatch to help record seizure times on the "Parent Form". All parents of children who have a seizure lasting longer than five minutes will be randomized to treat their seizure with the study medication (either rectal diazepam or nasal midazolam). If a parent treats a child with a study medication for seizure activity they are required to call "911". Families will be instructed to only give one dose of the study medication. If the seizure persists, EMS may give a second medication and transport the patient to the ED as per their established protocol. All parents/guardians who participate in this study will be asked to fill out a "Pre-study Form" (to be filled out during enrollment into the study) and a "Parent Form" for every seizure that is treated with the study medication. They will be given a stamped returned envelope to return the questionnaire. Once the study medication is used once, they will be done with the study. Any further need of home rescue medications to treat acute seizure activity will be coordinated by their neurologist. If questions arise, a study coordinator will be available by phone. In addition, parents/guardians will be contacted by phone every two months and questioned at clinic visits to audit compliance of reporting of seizures/hospitalizations, adverse events and answer any questions that arise. The study packet also instructs all families to call the study coordinator immediately if any expected or unexpected complication occurs. The study coordinator will be called on all ED visits and hospitalizations. We will then collect and analyze adverse events to compare them between the two groups. Any ER visit or hospitalization will be considered an adverse event and will be analyzed for its relationship to the seizure or medication. All adverse events will be reported to the IRB. See Table 1 for doses for the two study medications.


  • Drug: Midazolam
    • Intranasal Midazolam 0.2 mg/kg given once for seizures longer than 5 minutes.
  • Drug: Diazepam
    • Rectal Diazepam (Diastat) given once for seizure greater than 5 minutes.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Intranasal Midazolam 0.2mg/kg
    • GIve once for seizure longer than 5 minutes
  • Active Comparator: Rectal Diazepam 0.3-0.5 mg/kg
    • Given once for seizure longer than 5 minutes

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Length of Seizure After Study Medication Administration
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
    • Length of seizure.

Secondary Measures

  • Respiratory Depression Requiring Intubation
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
    • Respiratory depression was defined as intubation at Emergency Department discharge.
  • Number of Patients Who Needed Additional Medication to Treat the Seizure in the Emergency Department Within 24 Hours
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
  • Number of Patients Needed to be Seen or Treated in the Emergency Department for Their Seizure and Use of Study Medication.
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
  • Number of Patients That Were Admitted to the Hospital After Their Seizure and Use of Study Medication.
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
  • Number of Patients Who Had a Repeat Seizure Within 12 Hours After Their Seizure Who Used Study Medication
    • Time Frame: 12 hours
  • Respiratory Depression Requiring Oxygen at Discharge From the Emergency Department.
    • Time Frame: 24 hours
    • Respiratory depression was defined as requiring oxygen at discharge from the Emergency Department.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Children seventeen years and under will be identified through a Pediatric Neurology clinic at Primary Children's Medical Center, – Known seizure disorder, AND – Either have or will be prescribed a rescue anti-epileptic (rectal diazepam, or Diastat) for home use by their neurologist. Exclusion Criteria:

  • The neurologist does not prescribe a rescue medication for home use, – 18 years of age or older, – They have absence seizures, OR – They have been prescribed lorazepam for home use for seizure activity.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 1 Week

Maximum Age: 17 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Utah
  • Collaborator
    • Primary Children’s Hospital
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Maija Holsti, Associate Professor Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine – University of Utah
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Maija Holsti, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator, University of Utah
    • Francis Filloux, MD, Study Chair, University of Utah
    • Jeff Schunk, MD, Study Chair, University of Utah


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