Anti-seizure, or anti-epileptic, medications have commonly been used to treat pain, especially nerve-related pain. Examples include pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Neurontin), topiramate (Topamax), and carbamazepine (Tegretol/Carbatrol). The exact mechanism in which these medications work is not completely clear. Anti-seizure medications help decrease hyperactivity of the nerves that cause seizures; therefore, it is thought that these medications can have a similar effect with decreasing the activity of the nerves that cause pain.

As with all medications, there are side effects – most common side effects are dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting,  blurred or double vision, and weight gain. Therefore, if you are not having reasonable pain relief with one of these medications, it shouldn’t be continued. It is generally a good idea to stop these medications slowly, since abruptly stopping in someone who is seizure prone could cause a seizure.


Filed under: pain management

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