Side Effects of Epilepsy Medications


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent, unpredictable seizures. These seizures result from abnormal electrical activity in the brain, leading to various symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, convulsions, and altered sensations. Epilepsy can impact daily life and may require effective treatment to manage and control seizures.

An uncontrolled seizure disorder of the brain leading to different types of uncontrolled movement is known as epilepsy. The brain disorder happens when the electrical signals in the brain burst suddenly, leading to a league of uncontrolled activities by the affected. The brain disorder is not limited to a certain age or gender group and can affect anyone. The affected individual may face health issues such as confusion, brain fog, difficulty making decisions, pain and twitching of arms and legs, and various similar health issues.

Causes and Symptoms of Epilepsy 

Mentioned below are some causes and symptoms of sudden bursts of electrical signals in the brain:

Causes of Epilepsy.

    • Idiopathic: The exact cause is unknown in many cases, referred to as idiopathic epilepsy. It may have a genetic basis.
    • Symptomatic: Some epilepsy cases are associated with underlying conditions such as brain injuries, infections, tumours, or developmental disorders.
    • Provoked: Seizures may occur due to specific triggers such as alcohol withdrawal, drug misuse, or sleep deprivation.

Symptoms of Epilepsy.

    • Seizures: The hallmark symptom of epilepsy, seizures can vary widely in type and severity, including convulsions, absence seizures (brief loss of consciousness), and focal seizures (affecting specific brain regions).
    • Loss of Consciousness: In some seizures, individuals may lose consciousness or awareness temporarily.
    • Aura: Some individuals experience a warning sign or aura before a seizure, including unusual smells, visual disturbances, or emotional changes.
    • Muscle Contractions: Seizures often involve muscle contractions or spasms, which can be violent.
    • Behavioural Changes: Epilepsy can lead to behavioural and emotional changes, affecting mood and cognitive function.
    • Confusion: After a seizure, individuals may feel confused, tired, or experience memory lapses.
    • Repetitive Movements: In complex partial seizures, people may perform repetitive actions involuntarily.

Treatment Options for Epilepsy

Mentioned below are some of the epilepsy treatment options that help to lower the side effects of the disorder:

    • Keto Diet
    • Medications
    • Surgery
    • Brain-stimulating device therapies

Medications to Cure Epilepsy

Epilepsy medications vary for each patient depending upon the age, type and occurrence frequency of the seizure, health, and various other factors of the patient. These medications, though they treat the symptoms of epilepsy, also have their share of side effects. Thus, proper medication prescribed by the doctor, depending upon the patient’s health, should only be consumed.

Some common antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and their potential side effects include –

Phenytoin (Dilantin):

Side Effects: Gingival hyperplasia (gum overgrowth), dizziness, drowsiness, changes in coordination, and potential liver problems.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol):

Side Effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, skin rash, and blood-related issues (e.g., low white blood cell count).

Valproic Acid (Depakote)

Side Effects: Weight gain, hair loss, tremors, dizziness, liver problems, and potential birth defects if used during pregnancy.

Lamotrigine (Lamictal):

Side Effects: Skin rash (including a rare but severe rash called Stevens-Johnson syndrome), dizziness, headache, and mood changes.

Levetiracetam (Keppra):

Side Effects: Drowsiness, weakness, mood changes (irritability), and coordination problems.

Gabapentin (Neurontin):

Side Effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, and peripheral oedema (swelling of extremities).

Topiramate (Topamax):

Side Effects: Weight loss, cognitive problems (memory and attention), and potential kidney stones.

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal):

Side Effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and skin rash.

Pregabalin (Lyrica):

Side Effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain, and swelling of hands/feet.

Clobazam (Onfi):

Side Effects: Drowsiness, drooling, and potential mood changes.

When to Consult a Doctor

Timely medical intervention can help cure many of these ailments or help in managing them. You can also get in touch with the expert Neurology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support to treat brain conditions, neurological disorders or any other health concern.


Epilepsy Medications help lower the symptoms of the brain disorder, but they also have some side effects. These side effects may vary depending on the patient but can be managed with the help of specific lifestyle changes and natural therapies.

FAQs about Side Effects Of Epilepsy Medications

Q. What is Epilepsy?
Disturbance in the coordination of brain cells leading to a spark of electrical signals in the brain is known as Epilepsy.

Q. What are the side effects of epilepsy medications?
The side effects of such medications involve fatigue, dizziness, memory loss, short-term memory, confusion, depression, and other similar issues.

Q. What are the causes of epilepsy?
The causes of epilepsy can vary, including genetic factors, brain injuries, infections, tumours, developmental disorders, and triggers such as sleep deprivation or substance misuse.

Q. What are the symptoms of epilepsy?
Epilepsy symptoms encompass seizures, which range from convulsions and loss of consciousness to seizures and sensory symptoms. Auras, confusion, and behavioural changes can also occur.

Reference Links

Narayana Health

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