Medical Management of Epilepsy

By

Sarah Lewis, PharmD

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Medications are almost always the first-line treatment for epilepsy. Doctors use them first because they control seizures in 70% of people with epilepsy. These anti-seizure drugs can’t cure the condition, but they can stop seizures from occurring. And some work better for certain kinds of seizures than others. Here’s what you need to know.


The goal is to have no seizures and no side effects.

The goal of using medicines to treat epilepsy is to stop seizures without experiencing side effects. This can be a challenge. All medicines have the potential to cause side effects. And it can take time to find the right drug and right dose to control your seizures. The good news is there are many anti-seizure medicines and if one doesn’t work, another might. And if you can’t tolerate the side effects of one, you may find better results with a different one.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures—but it can affect everyone in different ways. Do you know the facts?

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 6, 2015

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