Most seizure medicines are given to prevent seizures from beginning. But some people with epilepsy experience intermittent periods of unusually increased seizure activity (often called clusters). Clusters may occur even when the person is being treated with doses of seizure medicines that are normally adequate. Because seizure clusters can be harmful in themselves, Diastat is prescribed for people who have experienced such clusters. It is kept handy so that if another cluster begins, a caregiver can attempt to stop it by giving the Diastat. The seizures thus may be stopped more quickly than if the person had to wait for emergency personnel to arrive or had to be taken to the emergency room.
Another use of Diastat involves the prevention of seizures that may accompany a fever, called febrile seizures. Some people, particularly some children, are prone to frequent and prolonged seizures whenever they have a relatively high fever. For these people, the doctor may suggest keeping Diastat at home and using it whenever their temperature reaches a certain point. The Diastat may prevent these febrile seizures from occurring.
Reviewed February 2004 by Steven C. Schachter, MD, epilepsy.com Editorial Board.
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