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medication for epilepsy

Anti-epileptic drugs

Anti-epileptic drugs

Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are a treatment for epilepsy. Up to 70% of people could have their epilepsy controlled with AEDs.

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Sodium valproate

New warnings and guidance on prescribing sodium valproate to girls and women with epilepsy have been issued in January 2016 by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency).

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Epilepsy medication updates

Read the latest news and updates about your anti-epileptic drugs including new drugs, name changes and problems with supply of medication.

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Emergency medication

Information and training for people who are responsible for giving emergency medication to people with epilepsy.

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New to epilepsy treatment

The decision whether to start taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) can be difficult, and there is a lot to think about. Here we look at the benefits and risks of taking, or not taking, AEDs.

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Managing your treatment

Managing your epilepsy might mean having a care plan, including a treatment plan to see whether your medication is working.

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Coming off treatment

If someone has not had a seizure for two or more years then they may think about withdrawing (coming off) their AEDs.

Free prescription

People with epilepsy are entitled to free prescriptions for their AEDs and any other prescribed medication. This is called medical exemption. To apply for free prescriptions in England, you can fill in form FP92A available from your doctor’s surgery. It is important to carry your medical exeption card with you for when you collect your prescription. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all prescriptions are free.

What if medication doesn’t work for me?

Managing medication can often be a balance between preventing seizures and keeping side effects to a minimum. For most people, AEDs help to control their seizures, but for others, despite trying different types, the AEDs do not stop their seizures completely. In some cases, looking at other treatment options may be helpful.

For example, someone may be considered for epilepsy surgery, VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) therapy or specialist medical dietary treatments (such as the ketogenic diet which is particularly for children) alongside their AEDs. For most people these are considered only after several medications have not worked. However, for others these options might be considered sooner.