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How do medications treat seizure disorders?

Most people with seizure disorders, also known as epilepsy, are treated with antiepileptic drugs that are designed to prevent seizures, and over 20 different kinds are available. Because there are so many options available, you may have to work closely with your doctor to find the right drug and dosage that works for you. Though usually just one type of drug is necessary, in some cases a person with epilepsy will need to take more than one. Like all medications, antiepileptic drugs can have side effects. These can include depression, dizziness, fatigue, weight gain, and rashes, for example. Some people who receive medication after their first or second seizure can prevent further symptoms from occurring. And some people with epilepsy who have been taking antiepileptic drugs for a specific period of time, such as two or three years, may be able to discontinue the medication under a doctor's supervision.

Anti-seizure medication works by stopping the channels on the cell membranes of neurons to stop working properly so that abnormal electrical signals cannot be passed on to neighboring neurons and thus propagating a seizure. Some of the mechanisms of anti-epileptics are not well-understood.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.