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Epilepsy Health Center

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Epilepsy Drugs to Treat Seizures

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Lacosamide (VIMPAT)

  • This drug is approved to treat partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy.
  • VIMPAT can be used alone or with other drugs.
  • The drug comes as tablets, an oral solution, or injection.
  • Side effects include dizziness, headache, and nausea.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal)

  • Treats partial, some generalized seizures and mixed seizures.
  • Has few side effects, but rarely people report dizziness, insomnia, or rash.

Levetiracetam (Keppra)

  • It is combined with other epilepsy drugs to treat partial seizures, primary generalized seizures and myoclonic (shock-like jerks of muscle) seizures.
  • Side effects include tiredness, weakness, and behavioral changes.

Oxcarbazepine (Oxtellar XR, Trileptal )

  • Used to treat partial seizures, it is a once-daily medicine used alone or with other medications to control seizures.
  • Common side effects include dizziness, sleepiness, headache, vomiting, double vision , and balance problems.

Perampanel (Fycompa)

  • The drug is approved to treat partial onset seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in those age 12 and older.
  • The label carries a warning of potential serious events including irritability, aggression, anger, anxiety, paranoia, euphoric mood, agitation, and changes in mental status.

Phenobarbitol

  • Oldest epilepsy medicine still in use. It is used to treat most forms of seizures and is known for its effectiveness and low cost.
  • Side effects can be sleepiness or changes in behavior.

Phenytoin (Dilantin)

  • Controls partial seizures and generalized tonic-clonic seizures; also can be given by vein (intravenously) in the hospital to rapidly control active seizures, although if the drug is being delivered by IV, fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) is usually used.
  • Side effects include dizziness, fatigue, slurred speech, acne, rash, gum thickening, and increased hair (hirsutism). Over the long term, the drug can cause bone thinning.

Pregabalin ( Lyrica)

  • Used with other epilepsy drugs to treat partial seizures, but is used more often to treat neuropathic pain.
  • Side effects include dizziness, sleepiness (somnolence), dry mouth, peripheral edema, blurred vision, weight gain, and difficulty with concentration/attention.

Tiagabine (Gabitril)

  • Used with other epilepsy drugs to treat partial seizures with or without generalized seizures
  • Common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, weakness, irritability, anxiety, and confusion.

Topiramate (Topamax

  • Used with other drugs to treat partial or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. It is also used with absence seizures.
  • Side effects include sleepiness, dizziness, speech problems, nervousness, memory problems, visions problems, weight loss.

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