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Epilepsy Health Center

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Epilepsy - Medications

What to think about continued...

Building a medicine routine that works can be hard. Finding the correct dosage of a medicine may take months. Some people may have skin rashes, nausea, loss of coordination, and other short-term problems when they first start taking medicine for epilepsy. When the first medicine you try does not prevent seizures or you cannot tolerate its side effects, the doctor may have to start the process all over again with a different medicine. The chances of medicine therapy failure increase as the number of medicines tried increases.

If you or your child has epilepsy and needs to begin or change a medicine routine, talk to your doctor about what to expect from treatment with the medicine. You may or may not have a choice between medicines, depending on the types of seizures you or your child has and other factors. Thinking about and asking questions about antiepileptic medicines will help you prepare for the treatment.

Pregnancy raises special concerns for women who take antiepileptic medicines. Before you become pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about how to handle your treatment.

You may think about stopping medicines if you have not had a seizure in several years. About 6 to 7 out of 10 people in this situation are able to stop taking antiepileptic medicines without having another seizure again for several years.2 But do not stop taking your medicine without first talking with your doctor.

FDA Advisory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and the risk of suicide. Talk to your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide in adults and in children and teens.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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