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Anticonvulsant Drugs

Anticonvulsant drugs, also called antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), are a medication used to manage and prevent seizures. Aside from treating convulsion episodes, anticonvulsants are also utilized for treating migraines, neuropathic pain, and bipolar disorder. They work by stabilizing nerve cell impulses and transmissions that cause epileptic seizures.
Generally, anticonvulsants prevent over stimulation of nerve activity and stabilize the mood. Hence, these off-label drugs are also effective in addressing many psychiatric conditions, including mania and anxiety.
There are different types of anticonvulsants available in the pharmaceutical market. Each may work distinctively from one another depending on the medical needs of a patient. Some of the classifications of anticonvulsants are:
1. AMPA receptor antagonists,
2. barbiturate anticonvulsants,
3. benzodiazepine anticonvulsants,
4. carbamate anticonvulsants,
5. carbonic anhydrase inhibitor anticonvulsants,
6. dibenzazepine anticonvulsants,
7. fatty acid derivative anticonvulsants,
8. GABA analogs,
9. GABA reuptake inhibitors,
10. neuronal potassium channel openers,
11. oxazolidinedione anticonvulsants,
12. pyrrolidine anticonvulsants,
13. succinimide anticonvulsants, and
14. triazine anticonvulsants.
Some common side effects of anticonvulsants include stomach upset, dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, headache, vomiting, ataxia and feeling of restlessness. Some individuals also report side effects like weight gain, tremors, and rashes.
Taking anticonvulsants is generally safe. However, patients should take precautions in certain cases. For example, pregnant women should only take anticonvulsants under medical supervision only. This is because anticonvulsants may cause congenital disabilities in the baby. If taken as a long-term medication, some types of anticonvulsants may harm the liver. Besides these, anticonvulsants may interact with drugs like aspirin to cause major health problems. Being transparent with a physician is necessary while going for this treatment.



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