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Seizure Control Medication

by Jeanette Fisher

Pharmacologic treatment for seizure control seems to be a guessing game. Over the years, research has given patients new choices, doctors changed their preferences, and still no drug provides effective treatment for all patients.

Many seizure medications can be taken daily in an attempt to prevent seizures altogether or reduce the frequency of their occurrence. “Anticonvulsant” or “antiepileptic” drugs (AEDs) have side effects which are idiosyncratic or dose-dependent. Physicians don’t know who will suffer from side effects or at what dose the side effects will appear.

Some people with seizure disorders experience a complete remission with an anticonvulsant medication. If seizures still break through, the dose of medication may be increased or another medication may be prescribed in a combination. This is where the guessing game comes into play. Doctors increase the medication dose until either the seizures are controlled or until side effects appear. Then they reduce the medication dose to the highest amount that did not produce undesirable side effects. Unfortunately for many, the seizures break though again.

Patients who take seizure control medications have their serum levels or “blood levels” checked to determine if the medication level meets the recommended dosage. In case of break through seizures or a seizure flurry, a patient’s blood level can indicate whether the dosage is high enough.  

Patients who cannot achieve seizure control after trials of two different drugs get the label “medically refractory epilepsy.”


Sara Fisher was treated for seizure control for years with the drug Phenobarbital. However, the side effect cause drowsiness. When she was taken off the drug, she woke up and participated in life.

Radical Seizure Treatment


Copyright © 2004 to present Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

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