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    Seizure Medicines for Tension Headaches - Topic Overview

    Seizure medicines are drugs that are used to treat seizures. Seizure medicines are also used to prevent migraine headaches. And they may be used to help prevent tension headaches in some people. There is not good evidence for their use in preventing tension headaches, but your doctor may think that one of these medicines will help you if you have chronic tension headaches:

    Side effects of topiramate can include:

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    Understanding Headache -- the Basics

    Although painful and troublesome, most headaches are minor and can be easily treated with aspirin or another pain reliever. (Do not use aspirin in anyone under age 19 because it may increase the risk for Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disease.) But if your headaches are severe, recur frequently, or are accompanied by other symptoms, you need to see a health care provider. Headaches are categorized according to their underlying causes. Common types of headaches include: Tension headaches...

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    • Fatigue.
    • A prickling or tingling sensation in the hands and feet.
    • Lack of coordination.
    • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
    • Inability to concentrate or speak clearly.

    Gabapentin is a well-tolerated drug that usually causes only mild side effects. These often go away within 1 to 2 weeks and include:

    Side effects of valproate can include:

    Do not use valproate if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant. If you need to use this medicine, talk to your doctor about how you can prevent pregnancy.

    Women who use topiramate during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on seizure medicines and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines. Instead, people who take seizure medicine should be watched closely for warning signs of suicide. People who take seizure medicine and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 02, 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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