Epilepsy Medications Used During Treatment

There are many types of medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy. Medications are selected based on the type of seizure, age of the child, side effects, cost of medication and the adherence with the use of the medication. 

Medications used at home are usually taken by mouth (such as capsules, tablets, sprinkles or syrup), but some can be given rectally. If the child is in the hospital with seizures, medication by injection or intravenous (I.V.) line might be used. 

Make sure you and your child (if age appropriate) understand the type of seizure that is occurring and the type of medications that are needed. It is important to give your child his medication on time and as prescribed by his doctor. Know the dose, time and side effects of all medications. Different people's bodies use the medication differently, so adjustments (schedule and dosage) might need to be made for good control of seizures. 

All medications can have side effects, but some children may not experience any. Talk to your child's doctor about any side effects your child is experiencing. Talk your child's doctor before giving your child other medications. Medications for seizures can interact with many other medications, causing them to work improperly and/or causing side effects. Young women of childbearing age who are on seizure medications need to know that seizure medications are harmful to an unborn child, and the medication might also decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

While your child is taking medications, different tests might be done to monitor the effectiveness of the medication. 

Your child's doctor will help determine a plan for follow-up visits and testing. Medications for seizures might not be needed for the child's entire life. Some children might be taken off their medications if they have been seizure-free for one to two years. Your child's doctor will determine whether this is the case.