Phenobarbital and midazolam increase neonatal seizure-associated neuronal injury.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24967
Status epilepticus is common in neonates and infants, and is associated with neuronal injury and adverse developmental outcomes. γ-Aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) drugs, the standard treatment for neonatal seizures, can have excitatory effects in the neonatal brain, which may worsen the seizures and their effects. Using a recently developed model of status epilepticus in postnatal day 7 rat pups that results in widespread neuronal injury, we found that the GABAA agonists phenobarbital and midazolam significantly increased status epilepticus-associated neuronal injury in various brain regions. Our results suggest that more research is needed into the possible deleterious effects of GABAergic drugs on neonatal seizures and on excitotoxic neuronal injury in the immature brain. Ann Neurol 2017;82:115-120.