Medication

Children often take the same antiepileptic medications as adults. Medication may be in the form of tablets, sprinkles, capsules, or syrup.

These medications are designed to prevent seizures. Some work with a few seizure types. Some work with many types. If possible, doctors try to control seizures with one medication. Some children may need to take more than one.

For some children, medicine works so well that they will not have any more seizures as long as they keep taking it and following the doctor’s instructions. Not having seizures does not mean the medicine is not needed. Always ask the doctor before stopping a medication. Just stopping could cause a seizure or some other serious problem.

There are concerns about differences between brand and generic medications, and different companies that make the same generic medicines. For more information about these concerns, medications, and medication side effects, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or contact the Epilepsy Foundation. The Epilepsy Foundation has some information about common problems for families on the Epilepsy And My Child website.

MEDICATION TIPS

  • Spend time with the doctor talking about the schedule of giving medicine. Maybe the time between doses is a little flexible, or maybe it has to be exact. Ask what to do if it seems like one dose would be during the night when the child is sleeping.
  • Make sure you understand how much medicine to give each time. Also, the best way to give each medicine (by dropper, mixed with food or liquid, or crushed).
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects for each medication your child is taking and what you should do if they occur.
  • Keep follow-up appointments. Some medications require blood tests that are important to your child's health. Ask the doctor at the end of each visit when he or she wants to see your child again, and schedule the next appointment.
  • Always talk with your child's doctor if you want to make changes in medication. Don't change how much you give or stop medication without a doctor’s help.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which over-the-counter medicines are safe to use with your child’s epilepsy medicines. Also, check with the pharmacist when filling other prescriptions for your child.
  • Ask your doctor how to handle fevers your child may have when sick. Ask about what to do when a child cannot keep medication down.
  • Find out what you should do if your child misses a dose of medicine.
  • Do not run out of medicine. It is important that anticonvulsants be given steadily. Ask for refills from your pharmacy several days before you will run out. Ask for a new prescription at each doctor visit.

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