This chart lists the most commonly occurring side effects associated with these drugs and is not an exhaustive list. For more detailed information, see your doctor or pharmacist.

As depression and/or behavioural changes are recognized side effects of some anti-epileptic medications, persons experiencing mood changes should not discontinue medication but seek advice from their doctor immediately.

Trade NameGeneric NameCommon UsePossible Side EffectsUnacceptable Side EffectsNotes

Banzel Rufinamide Used in addition to other AEDs for seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut Headache, dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness, nausea Heart rhythm irregularities Should not be taken by people with a condition known as Short QT Syndrome
Depakene Valproic Acid Atonic, myoclonic, infantile spasms, absence, tonic-clonic, partial (somewhat effective) Nausea/vomiting, indigestion, sedation, dizziness, hair loss, tremor, weight gain, loss of coordination Hypersensitivity, allergic reaction, impaired liver function, low blood platelet count, stupor, coma
Depakote (Epival) Divalproex Sodium (forms valproic acid in body) Atonic, myoclonic, infantile spasms, absence, tonic-clonic, partial (somewhat effective) Nausea/vomiting, indigestion, sedation, dizziness, hair loss, tremor, weight gain, loss of coordination Hypersensitivity/ allergic reaction. Serious, possibly fatal liver problems, low blood platelet count, stupor, coma 1-2% increased risk of Spina Bifida and birth problems. Under 2 yrs: greater risk of liver problems
Dilantin Phenytoin Tonic-clonic, simple partial, complex partial Body hair increase, gum overgrowth, tremor, anemia, loss of coordination, double vision, nausea/vomiting, confusion, slurred speech Hypersensitivity/ allergic reaction Affects birth control pills: 5% risk of birth problems which include cleft palate and congenital heart disease
Felbatol Felbamate Not recommended due to serious adverse side effects. Aplastic anemia and hepatic failure. There have been several deaths from this drug.
Frisium Clobazam (Benzodiazepine) Adjunctive therapy in a broad range of seizures, including atonic, myoclonic, infantile spasms, absence Sedation, tiredness, drowsiness, unsteadiness, irritability, muscle weakness, weight gain Hypersensitivity/ allergic reaction
Fycompa Perampanel Used in addition to other AEDs for adults with partial onset seizures not satisfactorily controlled with conventional therapy Dizziness, gait disturbance, falls, sedation Serious psychiatric and behavioural reactions, including severe hostility and aggression Contact a health-care provider immediately if any of these reactions are observed. May be worsened by alcohol. May reduce potency of some birth control pills.
Gabitril Tiagabine Used in combination with other anticonvulsants to treat partial seizures in adults Gabitril Tiagabine Used in combination with other anticonvulsants to treat partial seizures in adults
Keppra Levetirecetam Used for seizure control in combination with other AED’s in the treatment of partial seizures Drowsiness, muscle weakness unsteady walking coordination problems, headache, pain, loss of appetite, forgetfulness, anxiety, dizziness, moodiness, nervousness, painful burning/tingling of hands or feet, sore throat, runny nose, sinus pain Depression, anxiety, hearing voices or seeing things, hostility, suicidal thoughts, fever, sore throat and other signs of infection, double vision
Klonopin Clonopin (Rivotril) Clonazepam (Benzodiazepine) Adjunctive therapy with: Atonic myoclonic, infantile spasms, absence Lethargy, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, increase in salivation, bronchial secretions, weight loss, slurred speech Hypersensitivity/allergic reaction
Lamictal Lamotrigine Simple partial, complex partial, generalized- (limited studies) Clumsiness, diplopia (blurred vision), sedation, dizziness Allergic reaction Currently not recommended under age of 18 as serious skin reactions more likely
Luminal Phenobarbital (Barbiturate) Myoclonic, partial and tonic -clonic Lethargy, drowsy, hyperactivity, mood changes, depression Hypersensitivity/allergic reaction Affects birth control pills: same problems as Phenytoin but slightly less risk
Mysoline Primidone Tonic-clonic, simple partial, complex partial Drowsiness, appetite loss, irritability, nausea, dizziness, loss of coordination, hyperactivity, mood/personality changes, depression Hypersensitivity allergic reaction Increased risk of birth defects
Neurontin Gabapentin Simple partial, complex partial secondarily generalized tonic-clonic Drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue clumsiness, weakness, trembling. increased appetite/weight CNS toxicity, vision disturbances, Rhinitis, Pharyngitis Take at least two hours after taking an antacid. Passes into breast milk
Sabril Vigabatrin Visual problems, drowsiness, weakness /tiredness, increased appetite, hyperactivity, depression, dizziness, headache Allergic reaction, psychosis Should not be used if pregnant or lactating Ophthalmology exams recommended
Tegretol Carbamazepine Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, lethargy, nausea/vomiting, change in liver function Hypersensitivity/allergic reaction, impaired liver function, low white blood cell count Affects birth control pills. Appears safer than others re: birth defects, relatively free of behavioral effects vs. Dilantin, Phenobarb
Topamax Topiramate Difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, weight loss Allergic reaction, 1.5% incidence of kidney stones Few significant interactions with traditional AED’s. Cease use if visual problems
Tranxene Clorazepate Dipotassium Used in combination with other anticonvuls-ants for the treatment of partial seizures Clumsiness, drowsiness. Rare: Abdominal cramps, blurred vision, dry mouth, racing heartbeat, palpitations,shak-ing, slurred speech, urination problems (see a physician) Convulsions, hallucinations, memory loss, trouble breathing, staggering, trembling, severe clumsiness or sleepiness, headache, confusion Do not take with alcohol. Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take if seriously depressed. Do not take if you have Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis or have had a stroke
Trileptal Oxcarbazepine Used to treat partial seizures in children 4-16 yrs., alone or in conjunction with other AED’s Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal pain, tremor, can lower sodium levels Allergic reaction, double vision or visual disturbances, excessive sleepiness or fatigue, loss of coordination, speech and language difficulties, trouble walking, impaired concentration Not recommended for under four years of age. Passes into breast milk. May reduce effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Causes birth defects in animal studies. Notify physician of kidney or liver problems
Valium Diazepam (Benzodiazepine) Drowsiness, fatigue, ataxia, confusion, slurred speech, blurred vision, tremors, headache, nausea, depression Allergic rash, hallucinations, rage, anxiety, muscle spasticity, haematological effects, respiratory arrest Use intravenously
Vimpat Lacosamide Used in combination with other AEDs for adults with partial onset seizures not satisfactorily controlled with conventional therapy Dizziness, nausea, blurred or double vision May cause heart rhythm irregularities
Zarontin Ethosuximide (Succinimide) Absence Drowsiness, hyperactivity, nausea/vomiting, sleep disturbances Hypersensitivity/ allergic reaction
Zonegran Zonisamide Used in combination with other anticonvulsants for treating partial seizures Dizziness, clumsi-ness, sleepiness, nausea, anorexia, abdominal pain, insomnia, impaired cognition (confusion, decreased concentration speech problems) Rash, psychosis Do not take if pregnant or if you have a sulfonamide allergy
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