Medication and side effects for simple partial seizures

26th October 2018

As we have explained in other posts, a simple partial seizure takes place in only one side of the brain. Those who experience simple partial seizures do not lose consciousness or awareness.

Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), also known as anti-convulsants, are what will be prescribed to treat simple partial seizures. We’re going to take a closer look at some of the AEDs that are commonly prescribed to people who have simple partial seizures. We’re also going to highlight some of the most common side effects from some of these AEDs.

Please note: we have only summarised some of the most common side effects and these lists are not exhaustive. If you are taking one of these medications and experiencing something we have not mentioned, it may still be a side effect and you should consult with your healthcare professional.

Carbamazepine

This AED is an oral medication that’s used to treat seizures.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Swollen tongue
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Unsteadiness

Please note: If you develop a rash whilst taking this medication, please consult a healthcare professional immediately.

Levetiracetam

Levetiracetam may also be prescribed to treat simple partial seizures.

Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Infection
  • loss of appetite
  • Blocked nose
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness

Lamotrigine

Lamotrigine is another useful medication to treat simple partial seizures.

Common side effects include:

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tremors or loss of coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia

Please note: If you develop a rash whilst taking this medication, please consult a healthcare professional immediately.

Oxcarbazepine

This particular AED is also useful in treating simple partial seizures.

Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness,
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Concentration problems
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking
  • Acne
  • Irritated skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Speech problems
  • Balance, issues

Sodium Valproate

Sodium Valproate is another AED which may be prescribed for simple partial seizures.

Please note: if you are a female of childbearing age, Sodium Valproate must be used with caution. This must be done under the supervision of a neurologist.

Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in menstrual periods
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Vision impairment
  • Unusual (and sometimes unpleasant) taste
  • Hair loss

Phenytoin

Some people may take Phenytoin for simple partial seizures, however, it’s more uncommon.

The list of potential side effects includes:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Balance or coordination problems
  • Irritated skin
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

National Epilepsy Training can help

For more information on AEDs and their potential side effects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01706 373075 or email admin@nationalepilepsytraining.co.uk.