What anticonvulsants can help prevent migraine?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Anticonvulsants are drugs used to treat seizures. Some of these are also effective for preventing migraines. Drugs that are FDA-approved for this use include valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote, Stavzor) and topiramate (Topamax).

Side effects may include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Other side effects may include blurred or double vision, slurred speech, tremors, tingling sensations, problems with concentration or coordination, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and low red blood cell counts. Some people have allergic reactions that may be severe. Valproic acid has led to pancreatitis and liver failure. Metabolic acidosis has been reported in people taking topiramate.

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