Medication for epilepsy - Epilepsy Quality of Life
Published: 17 Feb 2020
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About AED’s – What AEDs are, what they do, what the aim of treatment is with AEDs, when treatment is usually started and how AEDs are chosen for each patient.
Side effects and interactions – Side effects are symptoms caused by medical treatment. This section talks about how some side effects can be positive or negative, such as positive weight loss or sleepiness. Also discussed: Types of side effects, drug interactions (AEDs with other drugs and alcohol, when you should take AEDs, epilepsy and learning for children and how AEDs can affect women and girls uniquely.
Being New to Epilepsy Treatment – This section covers questions such as “Should I start treatment?” and “How serious can the risks be” while also discussing SUDEP and Status Epilepticus.
If you are taking Epilepsy Medication – Medication adherence is the measure of how well someone takes their medication in accordance with their plan set by their doctors. This section covers strategies and tools to help if you or your child has difficulties when taking medication.
Managing your treatment – Care and treatment plans can be implemented to manage your treatment to truly see if treatment is working as intended.
Monitoring Epilepsy – Epilepsy reviews should be carried out regularly to see if the treatment is working, and to see if there are any side effects, such as osteoporosis.
If medication doesn’t work – Other types of treatments (or a combination of AEDs and other treatments) are available if medications aren’t effective, such as surgery, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), the ketogenic diet and deep brain stimulation (DBS).
Coming off treatment – Some people may need to take AEDs for a long time, sometimes for years. If someone has not had a seizure for two or more years, then they may think about withdrawing (coming off) their AEDs. This section discusses when you should consider coming off AEDs, and how to do it sensibly with medical professionals.
Author: Epilepsy Society