Managing Epilepsy: Everything You Must Know About Seizure Medications
Seizures are not quick naps. Roughly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with epilepsy every year. Their seizures can cause memory loss, mood swings, and bone damage.
There are many solutions available for seizures. One of the most common ones is seizure medications. Yet it can be hard to find the right one.
What are some of the most common seizure medications? What are some of their side effects? What do you have to do when you are taking medications?
Answer these questions and you can take control of your epilepsy. Here is your quick guide.
Common Seizure Medications
The seizure medications list is long. There are some medications that doctors prescribe on an infrequent basis. Other medications are coming onto the marketplace and may become popular.
You should examine some common medications in order to determine what the best seizure medication is. You should also talk to your doctor before you take any pills.
Phenobarbitol is the oldest anti-seizure medication still in clinical use. It is an anticonvulsant drug, meaning it controls abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Abnormal activity can cause a seizure to occur or make it worse.
It is also a hypnotic drug. This means that it can help calm a person down or induce sleep, especially during stressful times.
You can take the drug in liquid or solid form. You should drink water or milk whenever you take your pill.
Most people only need small doses of the medication. Side effects can include drowsiness or dizziness. You should not drive or operate machinery after taking this medication.
Neurontin is an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals in the body that can trigger a seizure and induce pain. You may use it if you have nerve pain or a virus like shingles.
You can buy Neurontin from most major retailers. Yet you should be careful when using it.
You should use the particular brand and form of the medication that your doctor recommends. Each brand is different, and mixing your medications may be harmful. Do not take a tablet one day and liquid Neurontin the next day.
Neurontin can cause breathing problems if you consume it in large amounts. Be careful when consuming Neurontin alongside other sedative medications. Some people report thoughts of suicide or depression, so talk to a psychiatrist while you are on it.
Valproic acid is another anticonvulsant. Brands like Depakene and Convulex are variants of valproic acid.
It is also a useful medication for bipolar disorder. It can mitigate symptoms of mania and allow a person to feel calmer. It can help prevent migraine headaches before they begin.
You can find several versions of valproic acid. You should try to find delayed-release capsules that will release the acid in the intestine and not the stomach. This will prevent you from having an upset stomach.
Be very careful when taking it. It can cause liver and pancreas damage when consumed in large amounts. Pregnant people should not take it as it can damage fetuses in the womb.
Lamotrigine helps with temporal lobe and juvenile epilepsy. Temporal lobe epilepsy affects the temporal lobe of the brain, which controls memory and language comprehension. This can lead to seizures and memory loss.
The medication helps by slowing brain cells down. When a person experiences a seizure, brain cells go into overdrive. Slowing the cells down stops seizures without damaging cognitive functions.
Lamotrigine comes in tablet form. You should swallow the tablets whole with some water.
Your liver will break down the medication. If you have liver damage, you should talk to your doctor about taking it. You should also be careful if you have a skin disease as a common side effect is rashes.
Remembering to Take Your Seizure Medications
It is very important that you take your medications at the same time every day. Delaying your pills by even a couple of hours will impact their effects.
Pick a time that you will remember every day. A round number like 1:00 is more memorable than 1:15 or 1:45.
Write a note reminding yourself to take your pill. You should mention what time you should take your medication and how much you should take.
You can use a tool like pillboxes to help with your memory. Stock your pills for the week in seven boxes, one for each day.
Take your dose from the box. This will help you keep track of missed doses. If you do miss one, you can take it the next day and delay your regular dose by a few hours.
Do not focus too extensively on medications. They are just one tool for epilepsy.
You can start on a ketogenic diet. It is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet that prompts your body to burn more fats. This reduces electric activity in the brain, leading to fewer seizures.
Flashing lights and loud sounds can induce seizures. Avoiding these triggers can help keep your seizure rate down. You can also perform calming exercises like deep breathing to prevent your brain from becoming overwhelmed.
The Essentials of Seizure Medications
Seizure medications save lives. Phenobarbitol may be the best seizure medication with the least side effects.
But you can also get Neurontin, valproic acid, and lamotrigine. Lamotrigine is especially good for temporal lobe epilepsy.
You should follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully. All seizure medications have significant side effects, including fatal ones.
Adhere to a medication schedule. You can use handwritten notes and pillboxes to jog your memory. You should avoid seizure triggers and follow additional therapies from your doctor.
A seizure pill is one medication you can take for your health. Find out others by following our coverage.