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The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) contains up to date, easily accessible information about medicines licensed for use in the UK. The eMC has more than 10,600 documents, all of which have been checked and approved by either the UK or European government agencies which license medicines. These agencies are the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

EpilepsySussex make every effort  to ensure that all the information is correct and up to date. EpilepsySussex is unable to provide a medical opinion, Our medical advice  is not to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctors. EpilepsySussex cannot be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of using this site. Any links made to other organisations does not imply approval by EpilepsySussex.

The below page and its content  is courtesy of emc

AEDs to treat Epilepsy 

Seizures 95 AEDs
Status Epilepticus 18 AEDs
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome 12 AEDs
West Syndrome 3 AEDS
Rescue Medication 2 AEDs

Key to using the information below



A   Aquate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).

B  Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.

D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.

X  Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.

N FDA has not classified the drug.


IA  Interacts with Alcohol.

Prescription Only / Over the Counter

PO  Prescription Only

OTC  Over the Counter

Seizures  AEDs

Status Epilepticus AEDs

West Syndrome AEDs 

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome AEDs

Rescue Medication

All links have been tested but over time they can become broken , please lets us know if any are not working at

INTERACTION               AED                                            WEBSITE


PO-C-N          Acetazolamide  

PO-C-IA                 Alzain         

PO-C-IA                 Axalid         

PO-C-IA                 Ativan        

PO-C-IA             Brivaracetam            

PO-C-IA               Briviact        

PO-C-IA        Buccolam Midazolam


PO-D-IA           Carbamazepine 

PO-C-IA            Clobazam      

PO-X-IA            Convulex        

PO-N-IA            Clonazepam   


PO-X-IA      Divalproex (Depakote)

PO-C-IA            Desitrend       

PO-C-N              Diamox         

PO-C-IA            Diazepam      


PO-B-N                  Epanutin     

PO-C-N        Eslicarbazepine Acetate

PO-X-IA                 Epilim        

PO-X-IA          Epilim chrono   

PO-X-IA        Epilim chromosphere MR

PO-X-IA              Episenta       

PO-X-IA                Epival CR   

                  Ethosuximide(Zarontin)  Ethosuximide is used to treat all forms of absence seizures. These include atypical,                                                                                                                                                                                     childhood, and juvenile absence seizures.

PO-C-IA               Fycompa     

PO-C-N           Fosphenytoin     

PO-C-IA           Gabapentin      

PO-C-IA                Gabitril       

PO-C-IA              Inovelon       

PO-C-IA              Keppra         

PO-C-IA                Levetiracetam

PO-C-IA                  Lamictal      

PO-C-IA                  Lecaent    

PO-C-IA                Lamotrigine   

PO-C-IA                  Lacosamide

PO-C-IA              Lorazepam   

PO-C-IA                     Lyrica    

                  Methsuximide(Celontin)  This drug is used for absence seizures. It’s given when other treatments don’t work                                                                                                                                                         for your seizures. This drug slows down the motor cortex. This slows down your                                                                                                                                                                      movements. It also increases the threshold for seizures. That means the drug makes it                                                                                                                                                                      more difficult for your brain to start a seizure.


PO-C-IA                  Neurontin  

PO-X-IA                  Nitrazepam

PO-C-IA             Oxcarbazepine

PO-C-IA                Rewisca     

PO-C-IA                Rufinamide 

PO-D-IA               Phenytoin    

PO-C-IA          Phenytoin Sodium

PO-C-IA              Pregabalin   

PO-C-IA              Perampanel 

PO-D-IA                Phenobarbital

PO-D-IA            Phenobarbitone

PO-C-IA               Primidone   

PO-C-N               Piracetam     

                    Rufinamide (Banzel)    This medication is used as additional treatment for seizures due to Lennox-Gastaut     .                                                                                                                                                        However, this drug may cause changes in your heart rhythm. It can also interact with                                                                                                                                                                       many drugs. For these reasons, this medication is not used often.

PO-D-N                 Tegretol     

PO-C-IA                Trileptal      

PO-D-IA           Topiramate      

PO-D-IA            Topamax                          

PO-X-IA               Tapclob       

PO-D-IA                Tegretol      

PO-D-IA       Tegretol prolonged release

PO-C-IA               Tiagabine                 

PO-C-IA                 Sabril        

PO-X-IA         Sodium Valproate

PO-C-N                 Vimpat       

OTC-B-N           Vitamin B6                    

PO-C-IA               Vigabatrin   

PO-X-IA               Valproic Acid


PO-X-IA                  Zebinix     

PO-C-IA                  Zonegran 

PO-C-IA              Zonisamide    

PO-N-IA                                     Zarontin


All links have been tested but over time they can become broken , please lets us know if any are not working at

 Category 1 – phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, primidone
For these drugs, doctors are advised to ensure that their patient is maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product

Category 2 – valproate, lamotrigine, perampanel, retigabine, rufinamide, clobazam, clonazepam, oxcarbazepine, eslicarbazepine, zonisamide, topiramate
For these drugs, the need for continued supply of a particular manufacturer’s product should be based on clinical judgement and consultation with patient and/or carer, taking into account factors such as seizure frequency and treatment history

Category 3 - levetiracetam, lacosamide, tiagabine, gabapentin, pregabalin, ethosuximide, vigabatrin 
For these drugs, it is usually unnecessary to ensure that patients are maintained on a specific manufacturer’s product unless there are specific reasons such as patient anxiety and risk of confusion or dosing error




How to ensure you are prescribed the same AEDs

Ask your doctor to prescribe you the  brand name so the pharmacist will  give you that AED

If your doctor writes the generic name of the AED on your prescription, ask if it can include  the name of the specific drug company.

Try to use  the same pharmacist each time as they may have a record of your AEDs and may ensure that you receive the same AED

How long does it take for seizure medicines to reach the bloodstream?

A dose of medication will reach a peak, or maximum, level in the blood 30 minutes to 4 or 6 hours after it is taken.
The peak time varies for different drugs.
The time between taking the medication and reaching the peak level depends on the specific medicine and what form it is in, for example a liquid, tablets, capsule or slow-release form.
In general, liquids are absorbed quickly.
Medications in slow-release forms are absorbed gradually over hours and produce the steadiest levels in the blood. These slow-release forms can be taken less often, once or twice a day.
Eating before a dose may also affect how long it takes to reach a peak level.
I have heard the term "half-life" used to talk about medications.

What does this mean?
A medicine's half-life is the time it takes for its level in the blood to be reduced by one-half.
The half-life of each seizure medicine depends on how quickly it is broken down and gotten rid of from the body.
How often a medicine should be taken depends on the drug’s half-life.

What's the difference between a medicine that has a short half-life and one with a long half-life?
If a medicine has a short half-life, the amount in your blood may quickly become too low to control your seizures. Medicines with short half-lives ideally should be taken several times a day.
Then you can take a smaller amount each time and your blood level will stay more stable.
Medicines with long half-lives have more stable levels over a number of hours. This let’s the medicine be taken less often.

When are seizure medicines most likely to work?
Seizure medicines work best when the amount in your system reaches a steady state or constant amount.
To keep this steady or constant amount, the medicine needs to be taken on a regular basis. The amount you take in needs to equal the amount your body gets rid of.
Just because a medicine has reached a steady state doesn’t mean that it will control seizures. Only by taking the medicine for a while (usually a number of months) can you tell if the drug is going to work for you

Is it normal for blood levels of seizure medicines to fluctuate?
Yes, even when someone has been taking the same medication for a long time the amount in your body will change over the course of the day.
Missed doses can also be a reason for why medicine levels change.
Dose-related side effects are more likely to occur at times of the highest (peak) levels and a seizure is more likely to occur at times of the lowest (trough) levels

Experts suggest the following for avoiding drug interactions with epilepsy drugs.

  • Be honest. Tell your doctor, dentist, and pharmacist about all the medicines, supplementsvitamins, and herbs you use. Go into appointments with a list so you don't forget anything.

  • Don't assume that "natural" means safe. Many herbal medicines and supplements can interact with medicines for epilepsy. "For instance,

  • St. John's wort can interact with several anticonvulsant medicines," says Pellock.

  • What is the best home remedy for seizures?

  • Some herbs, such as chamomile, passionflower, and valerian, may make AEDs more effective and calming. However, ginkgo, ginseng, and stimulating herbs containing caffeine and ephedrine can make seizures worse

  • Be careful with birth control pills. Some medicines for seizures can prevent birth control pills from working. Epilepsy drugs known to have this effect include CarbatrolDilantinphenobarbital, Mysoline, Trileptal, and Topamax.

  • Take special precautions if you're older. Older people are not only more likely to have epilepsy than other adults, but they're also more likely to be on long-term medication for other conditions like high blood pressurediabetes, or heart problems. That increases your risk of interactions.

  • Watch your diet. Oddly enough, some foods -- like grapefruit -- can interact with epilepsy medicines. Ask your doctor for a list of any foods you should avoid.

    More generally, you should not make radical changes to your eating habits. "Some of these popular diets can cause havoc in people with epilepsy," says Pellock. "That's not just from the weight loss, but from the extreme diet changes they make to achieve it."

  • What foods should you avoid if you have epilepsy?

  • Foods which may cause energy peaks and slumps include:

  • white bread; non-wholegrain cereals; biscuits and cakes; honey; high-sugar drinks and foods; fruit juices; chips; mashed potatoes; parsnips; dates and watermelon. In general, processed or overcooked foods and over-ripe fruits

  • Keep your doctor up to date. If you need to start taking medicines for another condition -- or have to change any of your doses -- talk to your doctor before you start.

Updated April 2024

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