Eric Segal, MD: Diazepam Clinical Utility Regardless of Concomitant Benzodiazepines

December 9, 2020
Eric Segal, MD

The director of pediatric epilepsy at HMN Hackensack University Medical Center provided background on how his data may change how clinicians use diazepam nasal spray.

"The lack of significant changes in side effects in these 2 populations gives further reassurance that this is a safe treatment to give. This is really a game changer for our independent patients.”

Recently presented interim data from a phase 3 study showed that diazepam nasal spray has similar effects in reducing the percentage of seizures regardless of concomitant use of other benzodiazepines as part of their antiseizure drug (ASD) regimen. The study, led by Eric Segal, MD, showed a similar number of seizure episodes for those using diazepam both with (90.4%) and without benzodiazepines (92.4%).

Although, among the notable findings, there was a higher proportion of patients who experienced treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) when taking concomitant benzodiazepines (79.8%) than those without (61.5%). The real-world results add more clarity to diazepam’s clinical utility after it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of seizure clusters in January 2020.

Segal, director of pediatric epilepsy at HMN Hackensack University Medical Center, feels as though his study serves as an opportunity to change and improve patient practice. In an interview with NeurologyLive, he outlined why the results may change the clinician perspective on prescribing it to their patients, and whether it could potentially lead to more singular prescriptions of diazepam nasal spray by itself.

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REFERENCE
Segal E, Tarquinio D, Miller I, et al. Evaluation of diazepam nasal spray in patients with epilepsy concomitantly using maintenance benzodiazepines: interim analysis from a phase 3, long-term, open-label safety study. Presented at AES 2020 Annual Meeting; December 4–8, 2020. Abstract 337.