It is assumed that when anticonvulsants arrest seizure, there is rapid return of brain high energy phosphates and brain lactate to control values. To test this hypothesis, diazepam was administered to neonatal dogs during flurothyl-induced seizure. In vivo 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy disclosed that diazepam quickly arrested electrographic seizure and restored brain phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate to baseline values. In contrast, in vivo 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic measurements showed that arrest of seizure with diazepam did not return brain lactate to control values. The sustained increase in cerebral blood flow and prolonged elevation of brain lactate, acetate, valine, and succinate in the postictal period indicate that metabolic recovery of the brain occurs over an extended period of time after the normalization of EEG, phosphocreatine, and brain pH.