Anticonvulsants, also known as antiepileptic drugs, are medicines usually used to control or prevent seizures or a series of seizures. This is the reason why they are also called anti-seizure drugs. Some of the anticonvulsants are also used for treating bipolar disorders.

Types of Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants comprise a very large family of drugs and are available in different types. Some of them are:

  • Phenobarbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Diazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Phenytoin
  • Ethosuximide
  • Acetazolamide

How Anticonvulsants Work

It is a well-known fact that neurotransmitters are responsible for sending signals to the body about different activities. Anticonvulsants attach to the neurotransmitters and send anti-seizure signals to the body and help in reducing the effects and symptoms of seizures. When taken in a prescribed amount, anticonvulsants can really help in reducing seizures as well as other diseases and disorders.

What Anticonvulsants Treat?

Anticonvulsants are not just being used to control seizures but these are also being used to treat different medical conditions including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. They are often prescribed to people who have at least four cycles of mania and depression in a year. The reason why these medicines are being used to treat mental disorders is that of their properties that have a positive impact on the brain.

Side Effects of Anticonvulsants

Besides all the benefits of anticonvulsants, there are some side effects as well. This is the reason why they need to be used with care and in the prescribed manner. Some of the possible side effects of anticonvulsants include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Weight Loss

There are other side effects as well that may arise due to excessive use of the medicines. However, these symptoms may also vary from person to person and this is the reason why you need to visit your doctor if you are having any unusual effects. It is also worth mentioning that anticonvulsants also affect the levels of vitamins in the body including vitamin B2, B6, B22, C, D, E, folate, and biotin. While you are using anticonvulsants, the doctor may also advise you to take vitamin-rich diet to overcome the deficiency of the essential vitamins.

Unlike other medicines, the effect of anticonvulsants are long lasting. Once your body gets control over seizures, it is quite possible that the symptoms will not arise for a long time. The chemicals in the medicine take time to provide long-lasting benefits to your body and this is the reason why it is highly recommended to be patient and do not consume the medicine more than the prescribed amount. These medicines are also being used to treat chronic pain of different types, however, the dose is very less as compared to that for controlling seizures.

DISCLAIMER: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.