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Antiseizure medications work to calm and relax those who are prone to seizures and manic states. Some of these medications work by increasing the amount of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric in the brain - a chemical that decreases excitability of the brain. Others help by slowing electrical activity in the brain.
Effect of Antiseizure Medicines on Bipolar Disorder
Antiseizure medicines are also used as mood stabilizers instead or in combination with lithium to treat bipolar disorder.
Some examples include:
- Depakote (Valproate)—one of the most effective antiseizure medicines for treating and preventing mania
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)——often used if lithium or depakote cannot be taken or tolerated
- Lamotrigine (Lamictal)—an effective drug in treating people who spend most of the time in the depressed phase of the illness, also helps to prevent manic episodes
Read more details about Antiseizure Medicines.
Please check the specific pages for each of the medications listed above for specific side effect and warning information. However, the following are general side effects and warnings for antiseizure medications:
Possible side effects
• Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred vision, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert or have clear vision until you see how this medicine affects you.
• Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over several minutes from sitting or lying position. Be careful climbing.
• Mood changes.
• Change in balance.
• Change in vision.
• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
• Feeling tired or weak.
• Weight loss.
• Acid balance changes.
• Wear disease medical alert identification.
• If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with caution. You could have more side effects.
• Follow laws about driving with a seizure condition.
• If you have been taking this medicine for several weeks, talk with healthcare provider before stopping. You may want to gradually withdraw this medicine.
• If you have glaucoma, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you are on a ketogenic diet, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you have kidney disease, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you have kidney stones, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you have liver disease, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you have lung disease, talk with healthcare provider.
• If you have mental illness, talk with healthcare provider.
• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
• You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.
• Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) or other medicines and natural products that slow your actions and reactions.
• Be careful in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.
What should I monitor?
• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?
• Check blood work. Talk with healthcare provider.
• Check weight weekly. Report a weight loss to healthcare provider.
• Follow up with healthcare provider.
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