Febrile Seizures Medication

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Nooruddin R Tejani, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
  • Print

Medication Summary

Patients presenting in status epilepticus can be treated with routine seizure medications, including benzodiazepines, phenytoin, and phenobarbital. For further discussion on the treatment of seizures, see Pediatrics, Status Epilepticus.



Class Summary

Antipyretics should be used in patients who appear uncomfortable secondary to fever. Antipyretics do not appear to prevent recurrence of febrile seizures.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Reduces fever by acting directly on hypothalamic heat-regulating centers, which increases dissipation of body heat via vasodilation and sweating.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

One of the few NSAIDs indicated for reduction of fever. Inhibits the formation of prostaglandins.


Anticonvulsant agents

Class Summary

Prophylactic treatment with an anticonvulsant agent may be considered for subsequent fever episodes.

Diazepam (Valium, Diastat)

Can decrease number of subsequent febrile seizures when given with each febrile episode. Modulates postsynaptic effects of GABA-A transmission, resulting in an increase in presynaptic inhibition. Appears to act on part of the limbic system, the thalamus, and hypothalamus, to induce a calming effect. Also has been found to be an effective adjunct for the relief of skeletal muscle spasm caused by upper motor neuron disorders.

Rapidly distributes to other body fat stores. Twenty minutes after initial IV infusion, serum concentration drops to 20% of Cmax.

Individualize dosage and increase cautiously to avoid adverse effects. Available as IV, PO, and PR dosage forms.

Lorazepam (Ativan)

Sedative hypnotic with short onset of effects and relatively long half-life.

By increasing the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, may depress all levels of CNS, including limbic and reticular formation.

Important to monitor patient's blood pressure after administering dose. Adjust as necessary.