Do drugs for epilepsy have side effects?

'Do drugs for epilepsy have side effects?' image

Anti-epileptic drugs are not addictive but they may sometimes have side effects. As these drugs act on the brain, drowsiness, sedation, nausea and unsteadiness may occur. Sometimes this occurs when the drug is taken initially and normally wears off. These side effects may also be experienced if the dose is too high. Persistent unwelcome effects should be brought to the attention of the doctor.

Chronic side effects may be experienced with some drugs when taken over a prolonged period. However these effects can be minimised e.g. good dental hygiene can help swollen gums which can be a side effect of the prolonged use of phenytoin.

Pregnant women need particular care, and ideally medication should be reviewed before the pregnancy begins.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A PERSON STOP TAKING ANTI-EPILEPTIC MEDICATION ABRUPTLY WITHOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE. TO DO SO COULD PRECIPITATE WITHDRAWAL SEIZURES AND COULD BE DANGEROUS.