Valium for a 2 Year Old?

Updated on October 02, 2012
V.K. asks from Chisago City, MN
28 answers

So I posted a question about my son's Febrile Seizures last night after a trip to the ER.

While we were in the ER the doctor said that was going to prescribe Oliver (Who will be 2 in late October) Valium He instructed us to insert it rectally if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes (He also said that if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes are supposed to bring him in to the ER). Justin wasn't too sure about the idea of giving our 2 year old Valium. Needless to say, he was relieved when it turned out that Valium is not covered by our insurance and is upwards of $200! Since it is so expensive, Justin easily won that battle.

Today I got a call from the pharmacist at the hospital. The doctor that we saw last night has apparently been working with the pharmacist all day to figure out a solution for us to get the drug cheaper. The pharmacist told me that the solution they came up with was to give me a liquid form of Valium with a syringe that turned the liquid into mist that we are supposed to squirt up his nose to stop the seizure if it lasted longer than 5 minutes. They said they would put the prescription on hold for me while we made this decision.

Justin is still against giving a 2 year old Valium. I would kind of like to have it on hand, just in case. Obviously we are going to talk to Oliver's regular doctor about this before we make a decision, but out of curiosity what would you do?

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So What Happened?

I should have added that his seizures last no where near 5 minutes. His first seizure didn't count to the doctors as a seizure because it was basically full body spasms that lasted a couple seconds and came and went throughout the day. The second seizure lasted around 30-45 seconds. This seizure lasted between a minute and a minute and a half. So they have gotten no where near 5 minutes.

More Answers



answers from Bloomington on

I think a child having a seizure , longer than 5 minutes is a bigger risk , than a dose of Valium.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

He's against giving your son Valium, but OK with the results of a 5 minute long seizure? The Valium is ONLY for this extreme emergency. ONLY if your son is in grave danger. What is your husband's problem? Does he not get what the reason is? It's to reduce the consequences and complications of a prolonged seizure, and...oh yeah...lessen the risk of DEATH. Is your husband an idiot? It's always a good idea to talk with your pediatrician, but really...this is a common way to stop prolonged seizures. Does he think he's smarter then a doctor? Sorry to be harsh, but geez.

I try to not give my child or myself antibiotics, because we normally really don't need it. As a whole, our country is completely over medicated. They aren't trying to over medicate your son. They are trying to HELP in an extreme, dangerous situation. OF COURSE, I would give it to my son. I would rather deal with the complications (if any are caused in my child) of Valium, then a prolonged, untreated seizure.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would go ahead and check with Oliver's regular pedi but it seems to me that if the ER doctor took the time and made the effort to try to resolve your financial concerns, he really must think you NEED to have it on hand.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Unless your husband is a doctor, I wouldn't let this be his decision.
This is your child. Get a second opinion if you're not feeling comfortable with the course of action the hospital doc and pharmacist came up with.
But I have to say, I think it's pretty amazing that they are going above and beyond to get your son an affordable treatment, they must really believe in it.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Of course it seems odd to hear someone want to give your baby Valium. I totally understand. I have given Valium hundreds of times to children to stop seizure activity. I never had a parent say anything other then thank you. Just keep it on hand, just in case. I hope you never need it. It sounds like you found an amazing, caring Md and pharmacist to try to help you out. Most would have said, well you won't pay for it? Good luck. I hope your little one is fully recovered very soon. Seizures can be terrifying to witness. I really hope they don't occur again.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I can understand Justin's caution. He only wants the best for his son, and he wants him safe.

But the most reasonable thing would be to have this emergency-only drug on hand, because if that emergency arrived, Justin would probably wish he could decide to use the drug then, or not. And if he opts to rush Oliver to the ER, they will still treat the seizure with drugs like Valium or stronger.

I hope Justin remembers that the prescribing doctor has probably treated many children with febrile seizures successfully, and knows what to watch out for. It sounds like he is VERY concerned about your son's well-being. Few doctors would put out that much effort unless they were genuinely worried about a worse outcome without the drug.

Good luck.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

You're awfully new to this seizure thing. Quite frankly, I'd get this and have it on hand. The thing is, there is no NEVER where these seizures are concerned. Just one full-out non-stopping seizure could give your child permanent brain damage. How would you both feel if he had a long seizure that didn't stop, you didn't have the medicine that the doctor had thought was SO important that he worked over and over with the pharmacy and insurance company to get covered, and you had refused to fill it, thinking that he would NEVER have a seizure that lasted long enough to need to use? You'd never forgive yourselves...

Justin isn't a doctor. He is a nervous parent. He needs to open his mind and consider that forewarned is forearmed, and just because you have the medicine doesn't mean that it has to be used. BUT, if you are dealing with a seizure that doesn't stop, the ambulance has to be called, you have to wait for the ambulance, the techs have to talk to the doctor, they have to wait for instructions, and by the time they are told what to do, they are at the hospital, wheeling him in, assessing, deciding what to do, etc, etc, etc, all of a sudden you are WAY WAY WAY past 5 minutes and looking at the possibility of your son never being the same again.

Justin, it's just not worth it...

Go to your ped and talk about it, V.. Ask for a ped neurologist like I mentioned in your other post. Get more tests done. And get that medicine to hang on to, just in case. Just in case.

You have absolutely NO assurances that his seizures won't last longer. None at all.


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Febrile seizures are actually more commen then
Most think. My daughter is 16 and had 4 seizures between the ages 1-3. My pedi was very understanding and knew I was freaked but he put his hand on my shoulder and said you do not need to rush her to ER everytime unless of course or lasted 5 min. He never prescribed Valium but if he had of course I would have had it on hand just in case. It's like having and epi pen on hand in case of a severe reaction. I understand your husband concern but chances are way high that it will never be used. I hope Oliver doesn't have any more I knw how scary it is!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Google ' valium for febrile seizures'.

I would look it up and ask the doctor questions if I had any concerns.

Apparently diazepam (Valium) is a very common medication for this - well known and nothing new about it.

Here is some of what I've found:


Febrile seizures are not uncommon in young children and recur in about a third of all cases. Phenobarbital and other anticonvulsants have been used to prevent recurrences, but these treatments are plagued by significant side effects. This randomized trial compared oral diazepam with placebo in 406 children with at least one prior febrile seizure.

The medication was started any time the child became febrile and given every 8 hours until the child had been afebrile for 24 hours. During a mean follow-up of almost 2 years, children taking diazepam (0.33 mg/kg) had significantly fewer febrile seizures than those taking placebo (41 vs. 72). Moreover, 34 of the 41 seizures in the diazepam group occurred when the child had not received the drug, usually because the seizure began before a temperature elevation was noted. Although moderate side effects occurred in 39 percent of children given diazepam, they led only 1 child to withdraw from the study.

Comment: Diazepam, given at the earliest sign of febrile illness, appears to prevent a substantial number of recurrent febrile seizures. The authors believe that diazepam should now be considered the best prophylactic drug for this purpose.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would suggest that your child needs to see a doc that is specifically for seizures but I have heard of this before.

If it came down to your child having brain damage or dying or taking Valium which do you choose?

If the doc says this will keep him safe until the seizure stops then I would do everything possible to do this. If the pharmacist is on board then it's okay> They are THE PROFESSIONALS when it comes to medications. No matter what my doc says I always discuss it completely with the pharmacist before I even consider filling a prescription.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Valium is a muscle relaxer, which I'd think would be an appropriate medication for seizures. Is your question about the dosage of it being appropriate or not? If you have questions about that, why not ask the pharmacist? They are trained to know that sort of thing. Likewise, why not call your pediatrician's office to confirm that s/he agrees with the treatment recommendations from the ER doctor. If so, then I'd say, trust the people who went to college for 10+ years learning to be doctors. This is what they do for a living. Unless you have a better plan in mind for how to stop a toddler's seizure before the child suffers permanent damage, I'd go with the medical advice you've been given by the emergency physician.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I would go on the recommendation of knowledgeable physicians and pharmacists instead of my husband's. Unless your husband has reservations based on being informed, he is just reacting to the name "Valium".

I tend to lean more on natural remedies than on conventional medicine, but I wouldn't just throw out a doctor's recommendation without good cause.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I understand your husband's concern, but Valium or Atavan is sometimes given to help stop a seizure.....

It isn't like he is going to become addicted to the Valium.

I am sure the doctors are weighing the risks of the Valium as compared to the risk of an extended febrile seizure.

If you have concerns about it, talk to your regular physician/pediatrician.

ETA: As far as how long his seizures have lasted.... notice that they are getting longer every time? He may continue to have these febrile seizures, and they may get longer each time. The risk of a prolonged seizure is not worth it. (As Jeni S. said, she has given Valium to infant many times...... and..... if he had a prolonged seizure, and you called the ambulance, guess what they would give? Probably the same thing... but it might not be IN TIME..... since his seizures are getting longer, I would find some way to have it on hand.....the risk from a prolonged seizure may be much more serious!)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If both the doctor and the pharmacist recommended it, I'd do it. It's scary to think about giving a 2 year old any drug, especially if he's having a seizure which is already scary enough, but if this medication is approved for treating this then I'd do it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Our son started out as having febrile seizures. Then he would have a seizure before he would have an illness that had a seizure. When he was nearly 4 years old, after doing the EEG etc, we discovered that he did have a seizure disorder and fevers were a bad trigger for them.

We have had the rectal valium (Diastat) ever since then. He never a lot of seizures, but when he had them they were LONG and SCARY (full out grand mal). The longest he had was 12 minutes and the daycare provider did not have the valium at her house.

Find a way to have the valium on hand. The 12 minute one that our son had the ambulance crew had to try to start a valium IV while he was still seizing. It was horrible.

If your son does turn out to have a seizure disorder, it will be worth the $200. Trust me. And if the shelf life expires before you use it, the pharmacy will exchange it for a new one--at least that is how ours worked.

I pray your son outgrows his febrile seizures. Keep that ibuprofen and tyelnol on hand and do not let him get a fever!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I don't know - our vet gave our dog valium for seizures and the dog only weighed 20 pounds. I think Valium is a name a lot of people know and have opinions about, yet a newer drug you've never heard of might be acceptable to your husband? Valium is pretty well known and it's been around a long time. I don't think the seizures are a good thing though. And I can't understand why the insurance doesn't cover it - the generic form shouldn't be very expensive. I'd double check on that.

I agree the ER doc put a lot of thought into it (rather than rush you in and out), and my guess is that ER doc has more experience with seizures than your pediatrician. But double check the dosage based on your child's weight. So I'd balance out the two opinions, should they differ, and go from there. They're only talking about using the Valium until his fever comes down and presumably the seizures would stop, right? I doubt there's too much danger of addictiion, and I would think the risk of injury during seizures is greater.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

is your husband a doctor? If not, then I would seek the advice of a trusted doctor - even get a second opinion - and go off what the DOCTOR says rather than what my husband says.

If Oliver's seizures have never lasted more than 5 minutes, then I would say it's a waste of money. IF, however, the seizures are getting longer and more frequent, then I would have to agree with you and have it on-hand.

I will state again - FIND OUT WHAT IS CAUSING THE SEIZURES - so you know what you are dealing with.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I know Valium sounds scary. Give one to your H and have the other on hand for your child. I know it's not funny right now but I have a friend with a child with seizures quite a bit and it always runs through her mind!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Well anti-convalescents are standard treatment for seizures so if it were being used in place of a stronger seizure medication and there was sound reasoning behind it, I would do whatever the doctor I trusted recommended after getting a full explanation. I wouldn't reject it out of hand if there is good evidence of it being an effective treatment.

That said...febrile seizures typically don't last 5 minutes. I would imagine that you are being referred to a neurologist to find out what's going on? One of my brothers has a seizure disorder that started when he was 2 and he has been on a medication cocktail since then that keeps it under control.

Valium is generally very cheap (the generic is diazepam and both have been around for decades) so I would push back on the price. A pharmacy may be able to compound the suppositories for you for much less than the price you were quoted.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cedar Rapids on

Get the medicine.

I know that "Valium" can sound big and scary, but if your tiny little child suffers brain or other lasting damage from a seizure that could have been prevented/stopped by having it on hand, you will not EVER forgive yourself.

The fact that the doctor spent his time working to get this into your home means he is positive that your child needs this for his safety. Honestly, I'm sure the doctor is concerned about your child because at this point, he knows that you're not willing to spend $200 to help him and that even if you have the medicine, you may not use it.

Please know that this is coming from a mommy who has had to inject her screaming, swollen, wheezing, blue-lipped 3-year-old son with epinephrine (epi-pen) to save his life during an allergic reaction. If I sound harsh or judgmental, I sincerely apologize, I'm just trying to make you realize that you DO need the medicine and you WILL give it to him in an emergency - even if it seems scary or you don't think you will. Trust me, when your kid needs it, you'll wish you had it and you will use it to help him!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

It's possible that the name "Valium" is what's putting you off. You need to ask how much is to be given. A very small dose in a very small body could be just what your son needs to combat the long seizures. I would also like to point out that they are telling you to only give it to him IF the seizures last longer then 5 mins. It's not an everyday dose. I would have it on hand, just in case. The seizures are likely to be doing more damage then the Valium, especially if they last over 5 mins.

Get your second opinion and then decide, but that's what I would do. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My 17 month old has scoliosis and torticollis and I BEGGED the doctor to give him a muscle relaxer like valium because it was the only one I could find that was approved for pediatric use. I couldn't get the pediatrician, nor the orthopedist to give it to him, and I am still convinced it would do him good sometimes, so from the other perspective, I would get it and be THANKFUL that the doctor worked so hard to get it for us. You dont' have to give it to your little guy, but you should certainly have it on hand. My brother has seizure and it would have been nice to have something to stop them when he needed it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Read the attached, before you decide. Valium is used in epilepsy and only in emergency cases of febrile seizures. Does your 2 year old suffer from fevers often? Are they always extremely high?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would do just what you are doing....ask his regular Dr. for a 2nd opinion and to make sure it sounds legit....and then if his regular pediatrician agreed, I would do as the ER Dr. instructed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'd trust that the doctor and pharmacist know what they're talking about. What is the point of seeing the doctor if we're not going to trust what they prescribe. Oliver has been having seizures for some time and you've tried other treatments. I suggest it's time to try a different one.

Because your husband is against it I would call his regular pediatrician and ask for his opinion.

If I remember correctly, earlier the ER doctor and your own pediatrician had two different recommendations about when to take him to the ER. I suggest that the one doctor who said take him earlier was reacting to your anxiety and need for reassurance.

I suggest the prescription for Valium was also made because of your anxiety over the seizures. It's for just in case. If it lasts for 5 minutes there is something that you can do.

I would focus on becoming more comfortable with the idea that the seizures are not as serious as you're thinking they are. Allow yourself to be reassured.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

whats the shelf life for it? It might not be worth it to have it on hand, especially since his seizures NEVER last 5 minutes. It sounds like a waste of money to me.


answers from Boston on

I would get the Valium. Every time his poor little body has one seizure, it effects him emotionally and physically. The Valium will help.



answers from Omaha on

Benzo's aren't just a psych med they are also used for seizure disorders such a epilepsy. So Valium isn't outside the realm of treatment for a child that is susceptible to seizures. Now to the bad side of it benzo's are extremely addictive. I've read they are pry the most addictive substance available and some studies have shown that in literally ONE WEEK of use a person can start experiencing withdrawal when they are out of the system. Withdrawal is painful and has similar feel and symptoms of an alcoholic withdrawing. Not fun at all. BUT your son wouldn't be taking this regularly at all so addiction and withdrawal shouldn't be a problem but it's still something to consider when thinking about putting your child on this medicine.

I'd personally talk to my doctor via email or phone if you don't want to make an appt and see what they think of this. Benzo's are the fast and easy answer to stopping seizures. Heck if you watch the medical shows they are always calling for Ativan to stop the inevitable seizure every patient has. lmao... Nose to be honest would pry be the next fastest method to getting it in the system and stopping the seizure besides right into the veins so a mist for the nose would be a good idea and faster than most of the options you have at home. I would think that having something on stand by just in case things get real bad isn't a bad idea though but I'd certainly talk to my PCP about it first. They know this child's medical history much better than an ER doc who is just trying to be helpful it seems.

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