What does Buccal Midazolam do?


If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with epilepsy, then you may have heard of the medication buccal midazolam.

Epileptic seizures can be frightening for both those that experience them and those present when someone is having a seizure, particularly if the seizure is lasting for a long time.

Luckily, there are medications available to help treat those that experience serious or prolonged seizures.

Buccal midazolam is one such relatively new medication that can be very helpful in treating epileptic seizures. Let’s find out a little more about what it is and who it is suitable for.

What is buccal midazolam used for?

Buccal midazolam is an emergency rescue medication that is primarily used to treat children and young people aged 18 and under with epilepsy. Sometimes, the medicine may be prescribed for those over the age of 18 if a healthcare professional deems it to be suitable.

It is from a group of medicines called benzodiazepines, and the active substance is midazolam. Midazolam is chemically related to the better know substance diazepam, which is also sometimes used to treat seizures.

People with epilepsy experience seizures caused by abnormal activity in the brain. There are several different types of seizures, and the symptoms and severity of these seizures can vary from one person to the next and may be different each time they occur.

Common physical symptoms of a seizure can include:

  • Going limp or becoming stiff.
  • Jerking movements.
  • Making a loud noise.
  • Becoming unresponsive.
  • Lip-smacking, chewing, or other mouth movements.
  • Repeating words.

In most cases, seizures only last between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes, but sometimes they can be more prolonged.

If a seizure has lasted for longer than five minutes or if a person is having multiple seizures without recovering consciousness in between, then rapid treatment is required.

A prolonged seizure that is not treated can result in a very dangerous condition called status epilepticus.

Status epilepticus can result in permanent brain damage, or even death, so knowing when and how to administer an emergency rescue medication like buccal midazolam can be potentially lifesaving.

Who requires buccal midazolam?

Buccal midazolam is primarily used to treat infants, children, and young adults aged 18 and under who have already been diagnosed with epilepsy. It may sometimes also be prescribed for adults.

As buccal midazolam is a rescue medication it should only be taken in an emergency during a prolonged seizure that is lasting longer than five minutes.

How does buccal midazolam work?

Buccal midazolam is a fast-acting sedative that reduces electrical activity in the brain to help to stop a seizure.

The recommended dosage for a child ranges from 2.5mg to 10mg, depending on the child’s age.

The word buccal refers to how the medication is administered; it means that it is given in the mouth and absorbed through the mouth’s lining.

This is an effective way of ensuring that the medication starts working very quickly, especially as many people are not conscious when they experience an epileptic seizure, so they are unable to swallow medication.

The medication comes in a prefilled syringe which should be administered in the mouth to the space between the gum and the cheek.

The active substance midazolam acts as an anticonvulsant medication which works by activating the neurotransmitters in the brain which are involved in reducing electrical activity to help stop the seizure.

Only one dose of buccal midazolam should ever be given at a time.

If the seizure does still not stop and is lasting longer than ten minutes you should call an ambulance.

Does buccal midazolam have any side effects?

Because buccal midazolam is a sedative, the main side effect to look out for is drowsiness.

Once the seizure has stopped it is common for the person to feel very sleepy or drowsy. This is normal and should wear off quite quickly. However, if they lose consciousness again you should call an ambulance.

Another common side effect is nausea, again, this should wear off quite quickly.

Who can administer buccal midazolam?

Buccal midazolam is usually administered by healthcare professionals and carers who have been trained by a professional or a doctor to do so.

Healthcare organisations, in particular, should ensure that all employees have received professional training in how to care for people with epilepsy and administer the emergency medication buccal midazolam if required.

Equipping healthcare professionals and carers with knowledge about epilepsy and training in administering rescue medication will help them to react calmly, confidently, and competently if someone suffers an epileptic seizure.

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we offer a 3-hour online training session in epilepsy and buccal midazolam. The session is suitable for anyone who works in healthcare or cares for someone with dementia. Our training courses are trusted by some of the largest healthcare organisations in the UK.

Some key areas that the training session covers are:

  • What epilepsy is and the different types of epilepsy.
  • Different treatments for epilepsy.
  • When and how to use the epilepsy rescue medication buccal midazolam.
  • How to give first aid following a seizure.
  • The importance of protocol and the individual care plan.
  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

The training session is usually carried out online in a virtual classroom. All our online training sessions are run by highly experienced trainers with a healthcare background and are carried out live online using advanced virtual classroom technology to ensure that they are as engaging and interactive as our classroom-based sessions.

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Interested in our epilepsy and buccal midazolam training sessions?

Book your place on our epilepsy training course today.

Or, if you’d like to find out more about our epilepsy training or book a place on the course over the phone or by email, give our team a call on 01772 816 922 or email admin@cba-training.co.uk.