In a medical emergency, every second is vital, especially for patients suffering seizures, which could result in brain damage, organ injury, or even death.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston may soon launch a clinical trial to determine the best medication available for alleviating seizures before a patient even reaches the hospital. “Rapid Anticonvulsant Medication Prior to Arrival Trial,” or RAMPART, is a national study that will test the drugs Midazolam and Lorazepam, which are commonly used for treating seizures.
The study also will test the reliability of a new injector designed to administer drugs such as Midazolam into muscle tissue. Midazolam, which may work faster than Lorazepam, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for sedation, but also has been used by doctors for treating seizures. If Midazolam proves to be more effective than Lorazepam, the muscle injector would be a quick way to give the drug while avoiding a needle stick risk to emergency personnel. Lorazepam requires an intravenous injection.
‘If this study shows that Midazolam given in the muscle works as well as standard intravenous treatment for seizures, it will give all emergency personnel an easier and safer method for treating active seizures,’ said Elizabeth Jones, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and principal investigator for the study in the Houston area.
In the study, patients will receive Lorazepam, Midazolam, or a placebo. (The emergency personnel will not know which injections contain active medication.)
Because of the immediacy of the emergency, a patient who is seizing will be unable to give consent, and there may not be enough time to reach a family member for consent, which is normally a requirement. Instead, Jones’ research team will talk to community organizations, focus groups, churches, and others about the study. If these community consultations reveal that the community does not support the research, then the study will be modified or not conducted.
Release Date: December 9, 2008
Source: University of Texas
Filed Under: Drug Discovery