The aim of treatment is to stop all of your seizures with the lowest dose of the fewest number of AEDs and with the least side effects.
Usually treatment starts using a single AED at a low dose, which is increased slowly (called titration), until your seizures are controlled. If your seizures are not controlled with this drug, a different AED is usually tried (by adding in the new drug and then slowly withdrawing the first one). If your seizures are not controlled with a single drug, another drug might be added, so that you take two different AEDs each day.
Most AEDs have two names, a generic name and a brand name given by the manufacturer (for example, Nurofen is a brand name of the generic painkiller ibuprofen). Some AEDs have more than one generic version and each version can be given its own name. For some AEDs, different versions of the drug can vary slightly and this could affect seizure control. Once you and your doctors have found an AED which helps to control your seizures, and which suits you, it is recommended that you take the same version of AED consistently with every prescription, whether it is a generic or brand version. This is called ‘consistency of supply’.
If a prescription only has the generic name of the drug, the pharmacist can give any version of the drug with that name. However, if the prescription has the brand name of the drug, the pharmacist has to give that brand. It can be helpful to get your prescription from the same pharmacist each time as some pharmacists keep records of the medication they dispense and can help with questions about prescriptions. There are also lots of other ways in which your pharmacist can help you.
Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are the main type of treatment for most people with epilepsy that aims to stop seizures from happening.
In August 2018, the Government asked pharmaceutical companies to ensure they have a minimum six week stockpile of prescription-only and pharmacy-only medicines in case of potential delays at UK borders after Brexit on 29 March 2019.
Information and training for people who are responsible for giving emergency medication to people with epilepsy.
If you have difficulties with taking your medication the following strategies and tools might be helpful.
If you have just been diagnosed with epilepsy, you may have questions about medication and treatment.
Who can I talk to?
You might want to talk to your specialist, epilepsy specialist nurse or GP, about your epilepsy. You might also want to talk to your pharmacist about your treatment. They may be able to do a ‘Medicines use review’ each year where you can talk to them about your medication.
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.
Managing your treatment is an important part of managing your epilepsy, and seeing whether your medication is working. This might include having a care plan, including a treatment plan.
If someone has not had a seizure for two or more years then they may think about withdrawing (coming off) their AEDs.
How doctors monitor epilepsy including therapeutic drug monitoring which checks the effectiveness of drugs taken by people with epilepsy.
List of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) with details including dosage and possible side-effects.