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Seizure Medications: Use & Possible Side Effects

Updated on April 22, 2011

Medicines to Aid Seizures

Medications can be used to help conrol seizures and epileptic fits, but they cannot necessarily cure the condition. Although, the medications have proven to stop seizures in nearly 70% of patients.

An accurate diagnosis in the cause and type of seizures can be one of the main determinants to choosing the medications. You'll, also, want to pick the medication by the potential side effects that the patient can tolerate and any other illnesses that the patient may have. Some medicines can have adverse affects on different illnesses.

Below is a list of the more common medications that doctors will prescribe for different types of seizures. This is in no way a complete listing of medications to help treat seizures.

Carbamazepine

Use: Partial and generalized seizures

Potential Side Effects: Low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count, digestive upset, and visual disturbances

Clonazepam

Use: Absence, myoclonic, and atonic seizures and infantile spasms

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, abnormal behavior, loss of muscle coordination, and tolerance of the drug after 1-6 months

Divalproex

Use: Absence and complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, tremor, weight gain, and liver damage

Ethosuximide

Use: Absence seizures

Potential Side Effects: Nausea, lethargy, dizziness, headache, low white blood cell count, and low red blood cell count

Felbamate

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Headache, fatigue, liver failure, and, rarely, aplastic anemia (a fatal disorder)

Fosphenytoin

Use: Status epilepticus

Potential Side Effects: Loss of muscle coordination, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, rash, and tingling sensations

Gabapentin

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, weight gain, and headache

Lamotrigine

Use: Complex partial and generalized seizures

Potential Side Effects: Rash, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, drowsiness, dizziness, runny nose, and abnormal menstrual periods in women

Levetiracetam

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue

Lorazepam

Use: Status epilepticus

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness and slowing of heart and breathing rates

Midazolam

Use: Status epilepticus

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness and slowing of heart and breathing rates

Oxcarbazepine

Use: Complex partial seizures as the only anticonvulsant in adults or in conjunction with other anticonvulsants in children and adults

Potential Side Effects: Headache, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, low sodium levels in the blood, and a low white blood cell count

Phenobarbital

Use: Partial and generalized seizures and status epilepticus

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, paradoxical hyperactivity in children, rapid movement of the eyes in one direction followed by a slower drift back to the original position (nystagmus), confusion, and loss of muscle coordination

Phenytoin

Use: Partial and generalized seizures

Potential Side Effects: Swollen gums, low red blood cell count, loss of bone density, excessive hairiness (hirsutism), swollen glands, and, in children, impairment of cognitive development

Primidone

Use: Partial and generalized seizures

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, paradoxical hyperactivity in children, nystagmus, and loss of muscle coordination

Tiagabine

Use: Complex partial seizures in conjunction with other anticonvulsants

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, nervousness, muscle tremor, and knee buckling

Topiramate

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Confusion, word-finding difficulties, depression, loss of appetite, and kidney stones

Valproate

Use: Absence, myoclonic, generalized, partial seizures, and infantile spasms

Potential Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting, weight gain, reversible hair loss, and temporary drowsiness

Vigabatrin

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and fatigue

Zonisamide

Use: Complex partial seizures

Potential Side Effects: Drowsiness, loss of muscle coordination, kidney stones, loss of appetite, and nausea

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, physician, or specialist. The information that I have provided is from personal research. For more information, always ask your neurologist form more information.

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      Melissa 2 years ago

      That is so scary. Our detectors went off in the mildde of the night as well. We had a gas stove with the old pilot light, the light went out so gas was just pouring into our house. I am still terrified of all gas related products. Glad you will all be okay.