Magnesium sulfate has been used as an anticonvulsant in the treatment of eclampsia, but efficacy of magnesium in other types of seizure disorders is poorly documented. We examined the effects of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) on seizures produced in mice by maximal electroshock (MES) and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), MgSO4 injection (6.7 mEq/kg i.p.) caused weakness in all animals. With suprathreshold electroshock, 10/10 controls and 11/12 treated animals had seizures with tonic hind limb extension (P = NS). Electroshock threshold was unaltered by magnesium treatment (n = 48; P = 0.47). PTZ induced clonic seizures in 12/12 controls and 5/14 treated animals (P less than 0.05). This difference was likely due to muscular weakness because frequency of EEG spikes was the same in PTZ and PTZ + MgSO4 groups. Mean serum magnesium levels were 2.3 +/- 0.3 mEq/l in animals not given MgSO4; 10.9 +/- 1.4 mEq/l and 12.8 +/- 2.2 mEq/l in treated animals with and without seizures (P = NS). We conclude that magnesium sulfate had no significant anticonvulsant activity in mouse MES and PTZ models for epilepsy. The relevance of these findings to the possible efficacy of magnesium sulfate in eclamptic seizures and other types of epilepsy remains to be determined.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989CB17300004
View details for PubMedID 2612492