Drugs That Treat Seizures (Anticonvulsants)

Examples

Gabapentin - Gabapentin is an effective anticonvulsant and is also used in the treatment of neuropathic pain syndromes.

Lorazepam - Used to treat seizures as initial therapy. Also useful in the ICU for sedation. Most often given as an IV form as needed. May also be given as a continuous infusion.

Phenobarbitol - Phenobarbital is very effective in the treatment of seizure disorders.

What is an anticonvulsant drug?

Seizures (convulsions) occur when the brain produces abnormal and uncontrolled electrical impulses. These impulses often cause the arms and legs to move in shaking fashion. These drugs help prevent the brain from producing abnormal electrical impulses.

Why is it given?

The doctor determines that the patient's brain is producing abnormal electrical impulses (seizure activity) or at risk to produce these impulses.

How long is it used?

Sometimes this medicine is only needed for a few days. Under different circumstances, one or more of these drugs may be required for the rest of the patient's life.

Does it have side effects?

Side effects do occur. Some are minor and some are potentially serious. Each drug has its own set of complications and you should ask the doctor or nurse how this drug might affect the patient.