Epilepsy and Seizures

For seizures, healthcare professionals may give phenobarbital, carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), divalproex sodium (Depakote), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), primidone (Mysoline), topiramate (Topamax), lamotrigine (Lamictal), ethosuximide (Zarontin), clonazepam (Klonopin), diaepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), methsuximide (Celontin), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), felbamate (Felbatol), or acetazolamide (Diamox). Some of these medications also may treat behavioral problems.

What is epilepsy and what do epilepsy and seizure medications do?

  • These seizure medications help to normalize the electrical energy in the brain. This decreases how often a person has seizures. After treatment with these medications for about 4 years, individuals may be cured of epilepsy and may no longer need treatment.
  • Epilepsy is a problem with the electrical signals in the brain that causes episodes of attention loss or sleepiness (petit mal seizures) or severe loss of control of body movements with unconsciousness (convulsions or grand mal seizures).

What should I tell the healthcare professional about the individual who will be taking these medications?

  • Tell if the individual is pregnant.
  • Tell the healthcare professional about any alcohol or medications (prescriptions, or nonprescription) that the patient is taking.
  • Tell if the individual has liver or kidney disease.

How should I give this medication and how should I store it?

  • You can give these medications either with or without food unless indicated on the prescription.
  • Give these medications by mouth unless indicated on the prescription.
  • Store these medications at room temperature.
  • Store AWAY from places with high moisture such as in bathrooms or over sinks.
  • Give these medications on time and as prescribed.

What side effects should I look for and when might I see them?

  • Report immediately any skin rash, increase in number or duration of seizures, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • The person taking the medication may feel sleepy, weak, confused, walk unsteady, gain or lose weight, bruise easily, have tremors, have overgrowth of gums, be hyperactive, or have other behavior changes.

Where can I buy epilepsy and seizure medications?

  • Go to Online Drug Stores on the World Wide Web and buy drugs.