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What Is Ativan & How Does It Treat Epilepsy?

Learn about the medication Ativan and how it is used to treat epilepsy from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Let's talk about some of the medications that we use in epilepsy. One of the big names as a rescue medication is Ativan. Ativan is in the benzodiazepine family. It's used, again, for rescue medication, given either intramuscularly as an injection or intravenously, IV. Usually used in emergency rooms, or by EMS. So, if someone is having a prolonged seizure, such as status epilepticus. That means a seizure lasting more than 15 minutes, this is a medication that's preferred to be given. If you give it quickly, it will hopefully knock out the seizure, and let the seizure end. But if you give too much of it, that's when we have a problem where it can actually stop the breathing. So, people worry about using too much of it. It may. If the person is seizing for a long time, it may have to be given more than once. And then you need to monitor respirations. But again, it's usually given in an emergency room or an ambulance setting. So, Ativan is a rescue medication used to break seizures or clusters of seizures, given IV or IM, intramuscularly. Uh, and can depress respirations if too much of it's given.

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