Epilepsy Drugs

Also referred to as anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant drugs (AEDs or ACDs), epilepsy drugs refer to a class of medications that are used to treat seizures. Since 1990, the FDA has approved a number of different anti-convulsant medications. In fact, the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) reports that AEDs are currently the most common treatment of epilepsy. While an estimated 200,000 new cases of epilepsy will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2009, with the right medications, the NSE estimates that as much as 70 of epilepsy patients can effectively control their seizures.

Types of Anti-Convulsant Medications

Some of the most common types of epilepsy drugs include (but aren’t limited to):

  • acetazolamide, Diamox®
  • carbamazepine, Tegretol®
  • clonazepam, Klonopin®
  • clorazepate dipotassium, Tranxene®
  • diazepam, Valium®
  • divalproex sodium, Depakote®
  • ethosuximide, Zarontin®
  • felbamate, Felbatol®
  • gosphenytoin sodium, Cerebyx®
  • gabapentin, Neurotin®
  • oxcarbazepine, Trileptal®
  • phenytoin, Dilantin®
  • zonisamide, Zonegran®

Side Effects of Epilepsy Drugs

The types and severity of AED side effects will depend on the patient’s medical history, as well as whether (s)he is taking the medication precisely as directed. In most cases, epilepsy patients will experience mild, if any side effects, such as drowsiness, irritability, rash, clumsiness and nausea. Rarely, patients taking anti-epileptic drugs may experience serious side effects, including:

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Aplastic anemia
  • A dangerous, significant decrease in infection-fighting white blood cells
  • Decreased I.Q. in children whose mothers took AEDs during pregnancy
  • Glandular cancers
  • Liver damage
  • Liver tumors
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), a serious skin condition in which the layers of the skin separate and die off
  • Toxic epidermal necrosis, a more severe, likely fatal form of SJS

In the worst cases, side effects can be incurable and fatal without emergency medical care. To reduce the risk of such life-threatening complications, it’s vital that epilepsy patients discuss their complete medical history with their doctor before starting a course of anti-convulsant medication(s).

Compensation for Epilepsy Drug Injuries

If you or a loved one is seriously harmed after taking anti-seizure drugs (or your loved one has died from complications resulting from such medications), you should consult one of our highly qualified defective drug attorneys, who will:

  • Thoroughly evaluate your case
  • Determine whether you have a viable legal claim and are entitled to a settlement from the pharmaceutical manufacturer who made the injurious medication
  • Advise you on the most appropriate manner in which to resolve your case, based on your needs and circumstances
  • Provide you with professional, aggressive representation in all upcoming legal proceedings, should you secure his or her services
  • Get you through the legal process as efficiently and favorably as possible so you can recover and move on with your life

For information about your legal rights and options, contact our epilepsy drug attorneys for help today. At Gacovino, Lake and Associates, we have the experience and knowledge to protect the rights of the injured.

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