Diazepam in the prevention of seizures and death in cocaine-intoxicated rats

Robert W. Derlet, Timothy E Albertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Rats were exposed to high-dose intraperitoneal cocaine. Pretreatment with diazepam was found to be highly effective in reducing observed seizures from 90% to 0% and reducing the incidence of death from 85% to 10%. Furthermore, diazepam treatment after cocaine exposure was also effective in decreasing deaths, from 80% to 21%, even when given after the onset of seizures. Although diazepam pretreatment was shown to prevent clinically overt seizures, cortical EEGs in these rats demonstrated a continuum of convulsantlike electrical activity Our study points to the protective effects of diazepam when given before or after cocaine exposure. Together, these data suggest that diazepam has significant efficacy against cocaine intoxication even though it does not totally suppress cocaineinduced cortical EEG seizure activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-546
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989


  • cocaine, intoxication, experimental
  • diazepam, cocaine intoxication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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