drugs are drugs which
are used to prevent or reduce the occurrence of seizures
in patients with epilepsy;
these drugs are also called anticonvulsant drugs.
Epileptic seizures appear to be caused when
too many neurons in the brain become active at the same time;
antiepileptic drugs are believed to inhibit or reduce neuron
activity in the brain.
Antiepileptic drugs include phenytoin (trade
name Dilantin), carbamazepine (trade name Tegretol), clonazepam
(Klonopin), valproic acid (e.g., Depacon, Depakote), and many
Antiepileptic drugs usually have a sedative
effect, which means that they can cause drowsiness, confusion,
dizziness and apathy. (In fact, many antiepileptic drugs are
also used to treat people with anxiety or mood disorders.)
It has been reported that mothers who take antiepileptic drugs
while pregnant may double the risk of birth defects in their
babies. Additionally, antiepileptic drugs tend to interact
with other medications, meaning that the drugs may not work
as intended or even cause harmful effects when mixed.
Despite these dangers, many individuals with epilepsy can
successfully control their seizures with the proper medication.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain