Epilepsy is not an illness that can be cured with the medications. Drugs are proven to be effective in 70% of the patients suffering from this condition and its effectiveness is measured by the control of the epileptic attacks.
When choosing the right treatment for the patient doctor will take into consideration the type of epilepsy, side effects that may occur when the specific medications are used, any other illnesses and conditions the patient might have and the acceptability of the delivery methods.
One of the most common medications used to treat epilepsy is Tegretol or Carbatrol (containing the substance called carbamazepine). This is the first choice for patients suffering from partial, generalized tonic-clonic and mixed epilepsy. Side effects include tiredness, changes of vision, nausea, rash and dizziness.
For absence seizures, in children, Zarontin is the doctor’s choice. It contains ethosuximide and it might induce nausea, vomiting loss of appetite and weightloss.
Felbatol is used in treatment of partial and general epilepsy. It is necessary to control blood panels and check the liver function when taking this medicine, because it may affect bone marrow and liver.
Gabitril is the drug to treat partial and some generalized seizures, combined with other medicines.
With some other antiepileptic medications Keppra is used in treatment of partial epilepsy. Changes in behavior, fatigue and weakness might be expected as side effects of this drug.
For partial and some generalized seizures doctor could also prescribe Lamictal, and some partial epilepsy attacks are treated with Lyrica.
Neurontin contains gabapentin, and it is used in combination with other antiepileptics to treat partial and some generalized seizures. It has few side effects, like tiredness and dizziness and they last just for the first couple of weeks, when starting a medication.
Dilantin (the active substance is phenytoin) is controling partial and generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy. The medication can be given intravenously, to control active seizures in the hospital.
Topamax is combined with other epilepsy medications for partial or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Side effects includes sleepiness, dizziness, speech problems, nervousness, memory problems, visions problems, weight loss.
Trileptal is the medication that treats partial seizures.
Depakene and Depakote contain valproate or valproic acid and are treatment for partial, absence, and generalized tonic-clonic apilepsy.
Together with other drugs Zonegran is used to treat partial seizures.
Valium and tranquilizers (Klonopin or Tranxene) are effective for treatment of all seizures and are frequently used in the emergency room to stop an epilepsy attack.
The most common side effects of epilepsy medications mentioned above includes tiredness, drowsiness, rash, insomnia, headache, anxiety and confusions, blurred vision, problems with memory, weight loss or weight gain. It is rare, but some of these medications might induce loss of hearing, problems with liver, pancreas and blood platelets, and thinning of the bone.When treating epilepsy, the dose and medications might be different for each patient. It is necessary to perform frequent blood panel at the start of the treatment, to measure response of the patient’s body to themedicine.
Some of the epileptic seizures are persistent and don’t respond to the treatment. In these cases it is important to consult the specialist.