What do these drugs do?

'What do these drugs do?' image

Anti-epileptic drugs do not cure epilepsy they only control it. Some drugs work by making over-active brain cells less excitable, and other work by decreasing the brain cells' ability to transmit abnormal impulses to each other causing a seizure.

Maintaining a roughly constant amount of the appropriate drug in the bloodstream helps control of seizures. To achieve this the prescribed drug must be taken regularly, as near as possible to the times recommended by the doctor. Missed or late doses can reduce the concentration and could result in a seizure, although one missed dose on rare occasions is unlikely to cause any harm.

It is not an easy task for everyone to remember to take the correct dose at the same time each day. If this is a problem it may be helpful to set aside the daily dosage so a check can be made at the end of each day or to use a special drug wallet, which can be bought through a pharmacy.

If you are likely to be away from home occasionally, missing a dose can be avoided by carrying a spare set of medication to cover unexpected circumstances.

When travelling on holiday's abroad it is wise to take a sufficient supply of medication to cover the period away from home. Anti-epileptic drugs are sold under different trade names in other countries and are not always easily identifiable. However, the generic name is the same in all countries.

Carry a copy of your prescription also, but if medication is lost it will generally need to be prescribed by a doctor in that country, most countries will not permit dispensing on foreign prescriptions.