Use only the drugs that are prescribed. All the drugs are relatively safe for long term use. Be aware of the drugs that are being used. Keep at least 2 weeks medicine at residence to tide over unexpected scarcity of the drug in the market. Carry along sufficient dose of the medicine whenever traveling outside the normal residence. The commonly used medicines are:
Most commonly used drug for epilepsy. It is available as small white tablets of three different strengths i.e. 30 mg, 60 mg and 100 mg. Since there are three different strengths it is advised that the patient should ascertain that the tablets dispensed to him or her are the correct strengths prescribed. Phenobarbitone is likely to produce drowsiness and excessive sleep especially in the beginning. Usually this side effect wanes off after a few weeks.
This medicine is available as 100 mg capsules or tablets in addition to the syrup form for the children. Phenytoin may produce hypertrophy of the gums and coarsening of the skin. The gum hypertrophy can be minimized by regular brushing of the teeth and gums. In case patients develop double vision or unsteadiness while walking they should report to the doctor without delay as this could be due to overdose.
This medicine is effective against more than one type of seizure particularly complex partial seizures. However it is not effective against absences and myoclonic epilepsy. The tablets are available in 100,200 and 400 mg strength in addition to syrup.
Sodium Valproate is also effective against a wide range of seizures and does not produce sedation or drowsiness. However, it can produce jaundice (hepatitis) especially in children below 2 years of age and when used in combination with other anti epileptic drugs. This drug is available as 200 milligram tablets and syrup (1 ml = 40 mg). Mysoline or Primidone, Ethosuximide or Zarontin, Clonazepam or Rivotril are some of the other medicines used for treating epilepsy